The Cincinnati Bearcats Basketball team is mere weeks from the start of preseason and the subsequent. In an ideal world this would get the kind of blown out coverage that is afforded the Football season. But the nature of the schedule, with literally months of nothingness preceding the start of Football, and games weekly thereafter lends to more extensive coverage of the Football offseason. Still, we here at Down The Drive are going to do our best give proper due to the Basketball boys as they get ready for the season starting today by taking a look at some of the marquee games for 2010.
10: v Alabama State, November 13th
Yes the opponent really, really sucks. Alabama State won their conference, went dancing, and is destined to be a part of a trivia answer for some time coming as one of the inaugural members of the First 4 in Dayton. This game, unlike those to come down below isn't about the opponent at all. It is about seeing Cash, and Kila, Yancy and Dion again. When last we saw this team, any of them, it was minutes after UConn won the title and Yancy cried his way into the one shining moment video. So yeah it will be good to see these guys on the floor again, and no, Deveroes doesn't really count.
9: at Marquette, February 11th
I have always enjoyed the Marquette games. It doesn't matter if it's Tom Creen or Buzz Williams on the sidelines the game have always been a rollicking good time. That should definitely be the case again this year with the Eagles and the Cats hooking up twice in three weeks in February. They should both be good games, but the road contest gets the nod over the home stand because as we all know road wins are more valuable than home ones
8: at Georgia, December 2nd
Georgia is going to be a work in progress in 2011-12, but I don't particularly care about that. OK I don't care about that at all. I think that the SEC/Big East Challenge is a good idea. But I would be more excited about it if Kentucky or Tennessee were on the docket. Still this will be the first road trip of the season for the Bearcats and a chance to make a statement on National TV (granted it will be Friday) after pounding a succession of directional schools and a pair of regional teams in Marshall and Miami.
7: at Pitt, January 1st
Because I hate Pitt and happen to thing that the simple elimination of that wretched city would solve most of the worlds problems (poverty, racism, resources conflicts, moronic economies ect). Seriously that's all I have to say about this game.
6: at Connecticut, January 18th
Connecticut is the team that knocked UC out of the dance. That fact isn't lost on anyone. Connecticut returns most of the pieces from last years national title winning puzzle. But those guys were just the edges of the puzzle filining in nicely beside the biggest piece of the puzzle in the center. I like SHABAZZ Naiper, and I really like Jermey Lamb. But I don't like UConn. Like at all.
5: v Notre Dame, January 4th
UC and Notre Dame have played some very good games the last few years, plus some not so good, but they have always been interesting. Mick Cronin's closest antecedent in the conference is Mike Bray which makes for an intriguing clash of styles. This years game is a crucial one for the Bearcats being just the second conference clash of the season.
4: at St. John's, February 8th
Steve Lavin did a hell of a job with the Johnies last year and has to start from scratch with a boatload of highly regarded and spectacularly named newcomers. I don't expect a lot from the Johnies this year. Because they are starting from scratch. When UC faces them the first time on January 7th at home they will be young, nubile, and not remotely prepared for the BEAST. The second time around I expect to be a much stiffer test and and entertaining game.
3: v Louisville, February 23rd
This game isn't as ferocious as it used to be. It's still heated and filled with plenty of aggressive and hard nosed basketball. But the animosity of past years has been replaced with something a little less strong. It might be the cordial relationship between Petino and Cronin. Regardless this should be a whale of a game with Louisville and UC both expected to finish near the top of the conference charts.
2: v Syracuse
UC's first home appearance on Big Monday since joining the Big East. Feel free to correct that if I am wrong, but I can't recall another. And it comes against Cuse, a team that has been a constant thorn in UC's side since joining the conference. I still hate Gerry McNamara.
1: at Xavier, December 10th
I still hate X, I still disavow all Xavier people and Tu Holloway is still a bitch who throws punches mid play