UC has a great opportunity here. Louisville, Pitt, and Syracuse would all be considered big time wins. If UC beats one of them and holds serve they most probably are in the NCAA tourney. If UC can beat 2 of them they may just end up with their first top 25 ranking since Huggs left. Its a daunting stretch and very unlikely that they beat either of those three but it is possible. Louisville I see as the most likely top opponent that UC can beat. It is a rival, at the Shoe, and Mick would love to beat his mentor.
As Nancy Zimpher's term as UC President comes to a close, I thought it would be interesting to examine the Big East standings:
Connecticut 10-1 22-1
Marquette 9-1 20-3
Louisville 9-1 18-4
Pittsburgh 9-2 22-2
Villanova 7-3 19-4
Syracuse 6-5 18-6
Cincinnati 6-5 16-8
Providence 6-5 14-9
West Virginia 5-6 16-8
Seton Hall 4-6 13-9
Georgetown 4-7 13-9
Notre Dame 3-7 12-10
South Florida 3-7 8-14
St. John's 3-8 12-11
Rutgers 1-10 10-14
DePaul 0-11 8-16
Last edited by NorrisHopper30; 02-10-2009 at 12:12 PM.
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During the Zimpher era UC basketball interest has dropped to a Tony Yates level. Games aren't being sold out and a handful of games aren't even on local TV. Looking at the standings this year doesn't even show the damage Zimpher did to UC basketball.
UC is going to honor Huggs at the WVU game on Feb 26th, which is a good thing. They are supposed to be hanging a banner in the shoe for his accomplishments, and it's well earned. Just as Zimpher is leaving, imagine that, poetic justice at it's finest.
At the end of the day, Bob can still walk down the street in this city with his head held high, can't say the same for wonderful Nancy.
Regardless, to get things back on point UC can certainly change my opinion of them in the next two games. How they play against a team they should beat and then Pitt might change my opinion of the team. They're certainly playing better but against teams that will likely not make the tourney. I'm looking forward to watching them play Pitt and then I might have a little more concern regarding our upcoming matchup.
Thank you Nancy Z for ridding the program of a coach who's time has passed, and for bringing in Mike Thomas, who brought in both Mick and Kelly. Thomas has done a great job. She also put some respectability back into the academics and athletic programs. Most of the "Huggins fans" don't care about the school or it's respectability, they just wanted to see future NBA players who could dunk and a coach ranting and raving on the sidelines to make up for his weakenesses, and who hadn't won a thing in years, a perennial underachiever still living in the past like most of the so-called UC fans who no longer go to games and live in the distant past of the mid and early 90's.
2 more years and thank God this won't be a recurring subject with UC basketball, Mick is doing a good job this year and is coaching like his career depends on it, and the quality of basketball is much more to my liking, against real talent, and Mick has already proved he can actually beat great coaches - something Huggins' couldn't do at all once Pitino and Calipari entered the conference, and completely owned him and his knucklehead players, half of whom couldn't even stay on the roster for one reason or another.
Louisville isn't much of a rivalry anymore - agreed. I think the Cards are their best shot at winning that one big game they need, if they take care of business with the rest (they will lose to Pitt) they'll get into the tournament, and that's all I ask - that would be huge for Mick and these players who've suffered through this the last 3 years, and would help get some of the Huggins' blowhards back into the fold hopefully, since they otherwise don't seem to enjoy big time college basketball for some reason.
Yet UC is capable of going into a slump at any moment and for more than one game still, I dont' expect Davis to keep shooting like this at all and Mitchell is one dimensional still...so all it takes is one bad game from Vaughn and they can still lose to anybody rather easily. Every game from here on out should be interesting at least - they are meaningful unlike this time last year.
I loved Bob, I still respect him, but I am a Cronin fan now, hopefully he's here for 30 more years and breaks all Bob's records. One thing Cronin will never do though, is give a postgame show like Bob did. "I don't know Chuck"