I agree U of L is indeed the superior team but do you really think they played so well that UC only deserved to go to the line once the entire game? The home team only going to the line once. That's pretty amazing. For UC to pull that game out they needed some breaks and the officials did not give them any home cooking. Aside from calling fouls, traveling wasn't called enough either.
I was at the game. A buddy of mine called at 1pm and asked if I wanted to go. I was just finishing up at work but I'm glad he caught me. He has great seats and the place was filled. It was a pretty good game overall.
UC's not at Louisville's level but maybe they can beat Huggs next week.
I also agree on the traveling. Every time Clark makes that move across the lane (which he always misses) it looks like he travels. However, it never gets called so maybe the length of his strides make it appear that he is traveling.
As I said before, UC has nothing to be ashamed of and played a pretty good game especially when you consider that McGee completely shut down Vaughn. They'll bounce back and if they can get that win at Syracuse they'll make the tournament.
Here's my breakdown of Big East competitors trying to snatch up NCAA bids:
In my opinion, as of right now, the only locks from the Big east right now are Pittsburgh, Uconn, Louisville, Villanova, and Marquette.
That leaves UC, Syracuse, Providence, Notre Dame, West Virginia and Georgetown fighting for the last 2 and possibly 3 bids.
Lets look at these teams current records, remaining schedule, and overall resume.
Lets start with Syracuse: The Orange are currently 19-8 and 7-7. They have solid wins against Florida and Kansas on neutral courts and a good road win vs Memphis. They close out the regular season at St. Johns, home vs Cincinnati, home vs Rutgers and at Marquette. They probably take the next 3 and lose at Marquette. That would make the Orange 22-9 and 10-8 heading to New York making them pretty much a lock.
Now lets take a look at Providence: The Friars are 16-11 and 8-7. They have bad losses to Northeastern and St. Marys and have a solid win vs Syracuse at home. They close out with Pittsburgh at home, at Rutgers and at Villanova. I say they only beat Rutgers and head to New York 17-13 and 9-9 on the outside looking in at the NCAA Tournament.
Lets go to South Bend: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 15-11 and 6-8. They have solid wins against Texas, Louisville at home, and a decent win at Providence. A loss at St. Johns is really their only bad loss to speak of. Notre Dame closes out the regular season with Rutgers at home, at Uconn, Villanova at home, and St. Johns at home. I have a feeling Notre Dame wins out at home and loses at Uconn which would put them at 18-12 and 9-9. BUT, I'll say Villanova gets them in South Bend and Notre Dame heads to New York 17-13 and 8-10 on the Outside looking in to the NCAA Tournament.
On to Georgetown: The Hoyas are 14-11 and 5-9. They have solid wins against Memphis and Syracuse at home and Uconn on the road. A loss at Seton Hall is really their only bad loss to speak of. They close out the regular season with Louisville at home, at Villanova and St. Johns and Depaul at home. I say they lose to Louisville and Villanova and knock off St. Johns and Depaul. This would put the Hoyas at 16-13 and 7-9 going to New York. They would need a deep Big east Tournament run to have even a chance to sweat on Selection Sunday.
Now to West Virginia: The Mountaineers are 19-8 and 8-6. They have solid wins at Ohio State and Villanova at home. They don't really have a bad loss to speak off. They close out the regular season at Cincinnati, at South Florida, Depaul at home, and Louisville at home. I say they lose at Cincinnati, beat South Florida and Depaul and lose to Louisville. That would put West Virginia at 21-10 and 10-8 and I think in the NCAA Tournament heading into New York.
Now on to Cincinnati: The Bearcats are 17-10 and 7-7. They really don't have a good, solid win. At UNLV, UAB at home, and Miss. State at home would be nice compliment wins to a win against Louisville or Syracuse. The Bearcats also do not have a bad loss to speak off. They close out the regular season with West Virginia at home, at Syracuse, at South Florida and Seton Hall at home. I say they beat West Virginia, lose at Syracuse and beat South Florida at Seton Hall. This would put the Bearcats at 20-11 and right on the fence of the NCAA Tournament going into the Big East Tournament.
Alright, after doing that I think Syracuse and West Virginia have the inside track to snatch up two NCAA bids with Cincinnati right on their tail. UC needs to beat WVU on Thursday, obviously. Some other big games will be WVU at South Florida, the Mountaineers managed to defeat USF by only 1 point earlier this year at home and a loss to the Bulls could leapfrog UC over WVU. Villanova at Notre Dame, if the Irish can pull that win off they would be 18-12 and 9-9 going to New York, a decent run in the garden and they could get in. UC at Syracuse, UC usually plays them very well and if UC does beat West Virginia Thursday, and then pulled an upset at Syracuse, we would be in barring a meltdown to South Florida and Seton Hall.
Now, here is what I am pretty confident in, many posters on this board are very uneasy to get comfortable with putting UC in the NCAA Tournament unless they finish out 4-0 and win a game in New York because of what happened to us in 2006. Relax. If UC beats WVU, USF and Seton Hall and takes the second round game in New York, we are dancing. That would make us 21-12 and a 8-10 seed.
UC is still learning. It will be interesting to see Gates in his sophomore year and see how much he's learned. He is pretty well getting schooled by Big East big men this year.
And UC's effort is better, but isn't total commitment yet. I watched a sequence where Vaughn dribbled a ball off his leg in the backcourt (that the announcers just blathered over and totally missed), Vaughn got mad, had himself a little sulk, and then Louisville ran a play where they rubbed Vaughn off on a baseline pick, Vaughn slacked off for about 2 seconds which was long enough for Gates to get open for a dagger 3. I can't fault Vaughn much for his play (he puts out the most effort of all the Bearcats), but those are the things you can't let happen if you want to be an elite team.
I thought the officiating was some of the best I have seen all year long. They let each team play and battle. They didn't call the nickle dimer fouls. The game was won by players, not officials.
UC just didn't have it. They relied a little too much on the outside shot early in the game. When the 3's quite falling it was only a matter of time before Louisville pulled away. Sanders proved why he was a top notch recruit and why Gates was lower. Sanders is much more athletic than Gates and it showed later on in the game. IMO Sanders and Earl Clark were two guys that UC had an uphill battle in trying to guard. Those types of athletic big men are the types that Cronin will want to get.
A couple days late, and while the Louisville loss was a bit disappointing, there wasn't much UC could do, I don't think. Louisville just dominated UC inside and on the boards. UC was able to hang around and grab a lead periodically in the first half when their outside shots were falling, but they still couldn't get anything going inside. When the outside shots stopped falling, Louisville's dominance inside and on the boards allowed them to pull away.
To me, that was just a case of playing an excellent team who happened to play a pretty nice game that night. Then last night Louisville went into Georgetown and pretty much did the same thing to the Hoyas.
UC quite simply has to beat West Virginia on Thursday night to keep their at-large bid tournament hopes alive. If they're unable to beat West Virginia, then they'll have to win out (including beating Syracuse) and then reach the semis in the Big East tourney to get inside the bubble. Right now I think a West Virginia win is more powerful on the resume than a Syracuse win because the Orange have been struggling.
Kevin Gregg and Jason Marquis will bring back memories of the Lost Decade.
Providence is the type of team that will upset someone in the tournament. Senior-laden with good shooters they'll be that 10, 11 , or 12 seed that can win a couple games.
Last edited by joshnky; 02-24-2009 at 08:59 PM.
I certainly don't see St. Mary's as a bad loss for Providence, either.
Providence hurt UC's chances with that win. UC really must get the job done against WVU & Cuse now.
What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?
All models are wrong. Some of them are useful.
So ... lil bit of a big game tonight ...
West Virginia rolls in tonight carrying an RPI of 14 as of yesterday. The bracketologists are calling for UC to grab a big win to grab an inside track of the NCAA bubble, and a win over West Virginia would certainly qualify.
Now that it's late in the season, UC's bubble is moving around even on nights they do not play. Here's a sampling of the good and bad from last night:
The Good: Kentucky (my apologies WMR, don't hate!), Kansas State, Maryland, and Dayton all lost
The Bad: Virginia Tech scored a massive win at Clemson, Oklahoma State and Texas also both won
The Unknown: Notre Dame won and UNLV lost. Both teams are on the bubble, yet UC beat both teams. The fine line for UC is wanting those teams to do well to boost UC's quality wins and SOS, but not to do so well that there is risk they would take UC's spot in the NCAAs.
Tonight's key games, besides UC vs. West Virginia (obviously) ...
Temple vs. La Salle - root for La Salle
Minnesota @ Illinois - root for Illinois
Miami (FL) @ Virginia - root for Virginia
Purdue @ Michigan - root for Purdue
USC @ California - root for California
St. Mary's @ Pepperdine - root for Pepperdine
UAB vs. Memphis is another unknown game; UAB is on the bubble right there next to UC, but UC beat UAB. Is it better for UC if UAB beats Memphis or loses to Memphis?
Kevin Gregg and Jason Marquis will bring back memories of the Lost Decade.
Its kind of hard to say a game is more important than another but if UC can beat Syracuse away it will stand out more than a win over WVU. I heard some bracket guy saying that its not only victories but where they happen. If UC wants to make the tourney a win over SU is a must. It shows beating a fringe top 25 team on the road. That makes a larger statement than a win over WVU.
ESPN guys are already setting stuff up right outside 5/3. I'm pumped.
Follow me on twitter @EricLilly7
Ok this is going to be off-topic, but I was listening to Pdoc reminisce about former UC players on the radio last night and I began to wonder if James White was still playing ball. I always thought he might have been able to make it in the NBA as a role player who could guard 3's, anyhow just curious if anybody knows if he is still playing