It would be nicer if there was more time to celebrate a win as big as the Syracuse game Saturday, but as soon as the VillenHD video ends (okay as soon as it ends for the 5th time) it's time to move on and prepare for the next opponent. In this case, it's a Cincinnati Bearcats team that desperately needs a win, and has the confidence and coaching to do it. In a strange stat, this will be the first time Cincinnati has played at the Yum! Center (I don't understand how that's possible but there you have it) and the first time we've played them since a Saturday night in New York almost a year ago. Don't remember? Let me take you to that old, familiar place.
This year's Bearcats feature a number of those same players, including two of the best players in the Big East, Sean Kilpatrick and Cashmere Wright. Their third most dangerous man, JaQuon Parker, shoots 40% from 3 although he's shot about 1/3rd as many as Kilpatrick and half as many as Wright. So those two are their scorers, leaders and playmakers, and shutting down one of them will be key tonight.
Cincinnati beat UConn the other night to halt their 3 game skid: 7 point loss at home to Georgetown (no shame), 7 point loss in overtime at UConn (little shame) and 19 point loss at Notre Dame (yikes but been there done that) where they were held to 41 points on 31.5% shooting and 2-12 from 3. Double yikes. If we can hold them anywhere near that tonight, we should win going away, and that is the sort of analysis you pay the big bucks for here at the Chron.
But throw all of that out the window when these two teams play: the familiarity of coaches, styles, players, fans, designated market area sizes, we have to drive through there to get to the IKEA, those sorts of things, plus the potential for ego to develop after such a big win Saturday, all combine to make this a dangerous game. Cannot start looking ahead.
As long as we don't turn the ball over, make some shots, and their guys don't shoot some crazy outlier 3 point percentage, we should be fine. Where have I heard that before?
March basketball. ESPN 7 PM game. Hated rival. 1st place in the Big East still within reach. 1 seed still there for the taking. 2 more home games of Siva (and Gorgui...and ????)....soak it in.