Congratulations to Mick Cronin and the University of Cincinnati Bearcats basketball team for making the Sweet Sixteen for the first time under Coach Cronin, and the first time since 2001.
But what we should also be celebrating as well is the path to consistency that this team is building. This is the second year in a row this team has made the NCAA and they have won at least one game in each tournament, improving with two wins this year.
How valuable is this success? A Juco college player is on the verge of signing with UC based on the success of their current NCAA run and as he said "...the fans were crazy at the Notre Dame game" contributed to his decision. Yes you; you showed up in force and as I have referenced in this blog before players try to visualize themselves playing in front of supportive crowds like those he mentioned because they feed off your energy.
UC basketball and football probably bring more attention to this University than all other sports combined and that has a ton of residual value as it relates to attracting students, reconnecting alumni and growing the fan base. When UC wins a bowl game or advances to the Sweet 16 it puts the University in the land of priceless exposure. TV stations, newspapers and online publications around the world are mentioning 16 teams repeatedly this week and one of them is UC, four of them are from Ohio and 7 of them are from the Tri-State.
But even better than that is UC was mentioned last year after knocking off Missouri, and they're being mentioned again this year for beating Texas and Florida State. These are three schools from major conferences that many thought were too tough for UC to compete against and yet they did.
So while we celebrate the Bearcats ascension to the Sweet 16, lets also celebrate the fact that they are back in the tournament for the second year in a row. Six years ago many thought they would not make it to March Madness at all.
Today is a good day to be a Bearcat fan; honestly it's been a good week, month, year and even longer to be one if you wanted to be.
That's the way I see it, sitting in The Box Seat