Alabama State Recap
"We played about as well as we could in the first half," said Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin after the game. "We were shooting wide-open shots, but the problem was we were one for nine from long range. In the second half we had ten turnovers and didn’t play nearly as well. Our defense was excellent."
The Hornets scored only 14 points in the first half, the fewest allowed in a half by UC under Cronin. They shot 23.3 percent in the first half, went 0-for-8 from 3-point range and committed 11 turnovers.
And not taking the game seriously is something I think a lot of people did. It's hard to play hard when you are a thousand times better than the team you are playing and you jump out to a huge lead. 16 turnovers, giving up 8 offensive boards, that's gotta be tightened up.
"Since Cheikh went done, it’s given him more opportunity in practice. He’s had to battle in practice. He’s a guy that is raw in regards to having a lack of fundamentals from a coaching standpoint. He’ll admit it right away. Literally, he had to ask what a pivot foot is. That is what you are dealing with. He is a tough kid and highly competitive. That is how I discovered him. I didn’t discover Octavius Ellis by scoring 20 points. I saw a skinny 6-9 kid who wouldn’t give up and his team was being blown out the opponent. Strength wise he has a ways to go. He’ll never be a bulky guy but he plays tougher than he looks.
Six of the eight teams in the Big East remain alive for the conference crown. Rutgers would hold head-to-head tiebreakers over Cincinnati and Pitt if it wins Saturday. It doesn’t hold tiebreakers over Louisville and West Virginia, both of whom have beaten the Scarlet Knights.
Cincinnati is beatable. The Bearcats were the only unbeaten team going into this week, but that all changed after a 24-21 loss to West Virginia. You have to give Cincinnati major props for fighting back from a 10-point deficit behind backup quarterback Munchie Legaux. After a shaky start, he really showed his ability to run with the football and nearly led his team to another comeback win. Cincinnati still controls its own destiny -- win out and it's BCS bound. But there are now doubts about whether or not the Bearcats can run the table without starting quarterback Zach Collaros, who hurt his right ankle in the game. The door to the Big East title was not kicked open today. It was pushed open, and now it is up to the Bearcats to shut it closed again. Do they have what it takes with games remaining against Rutgers, Syracuse and UConn?
The Bearcats still have a one-game lead in the Big East, but losing to West Virginia 24-21 on Saturday was a costly defeat. Quarterback Zach Collaros is out for the rest of the regular season with a fractured ankle, which leaves Munchie Legaux as the starter. Cincinnati has three regular season contests remaining – at Rutgers, at Syracuse and home against Connecticut – and can’t afford another defeat. Without Collaros, finishing the season without a loss in the final three games won’t be easy.
2. Cincinnati (7-2, 3-1). The Bearcats might have the league's best overall record, but it is hard to put them atop the power rankings after a loss. Their best win is what, over NC State (5-5)? Worst loss is to Tennessee (4-6). They are still a solid team that could very well run the table. But for this week at least, they drop back to No. 2.
Big East bowl projections: Week 12 // Big East Blog // ESPN
There is a chance, slight yes, but a chance for all 8 teams to be bowl eligible
Other Bearcat News
University of Cincinnati senior Eric Finan (New Richmond, Ohio/New Richmond) was one of 38 at-large runners selected to compete in the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Cross Country Championship, the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Track and Field committee announced Sunday.
Congrats to Eric
The University of Cincinnati volleyball team finished its regular season BIG EAST play Sunday afternoon with a 3-2 win over Villanova (22-25, 25-14, 25-23, 24-26, 15-4). The win puts the Bearcats (12-2) in second place in the BIG EAST, under regular season champion Louisville. The Bearcats were led by all positions on the court. Sophomore libero Emily MacIntyre (Muncie, Ind. /Yorktown) recorded 34 digs, a career-best. This number comes within 3 digs of the single-season match record for digs set by Jamie Frey in 2007.
Reading This Will Make You Smarter
Let’s play Moneyball // FT.com
A fascinating conversation with Billy Beane and Michael Lewis. I hate Baseball with the passion of a 1,000 suns. But I, like everyone else, have read Moneyball. And I will read anything Lewis writes as a result