Two down one to go...
Describe the perfect day? "I wake up in a hotel in New York City and prepare to play in the Big East Tournament championship game. Win the game and have dinner afterwards at some great restaurant in New York with friends and family. That would be...that's going to be a great day." --Mick Cronin in my first in-depth interview with him after becoming Cincinnati's head coach in 2006.
wow. You got your wish Mick. Capitalize
It is nothing less than an astounding turnaround, a morality play lived large on the hardwood. Plenty of people wrote Cincinnati off early; plenty more were disgusted with the Bearcats after the brawl. And now? Now they’re winning converts by the day.
"Cashmere just told me to stay in the corner, and then Coach was telling me to go to the corner because Kris Joseph, he was going to come up and play Cash because Cash was hot as well throughout the game," Kilpatrick said. "Once he played Cash, I was just wide open."
"We were talking about that last night, getting attention for our play and not the mistakes we’ve made," said Gates. "It’s my senior year and every..player wants to play in the Big East tournament championship game and I’ve got that opportunity tomorrow night."
Cincinnati big man Yancy Gates had just three points in the first half, when his team was lights-out from beyond the arc. But he he came up huge in the second half, with 15 points, cleaning up off the glass after some misses from the perimeter. He also had seven rebounds.
"We hate losing,’’ Waiters said of a feeling the Orange had experienced just once this season. "Our mindset coming into this tournament was just to win and continue to get better as a team. Nobody likes to lose. Cincinnati just came out on fire.’’
"My goal is to do what Jim Boeheim’s done in his career, but I’m not staying that long," Cronin said with a smile. "You know, take my home school and do what he’s done with Syracuse. Recruiting great players on the East Coast and trying to become a perennial power in the Big East. Makes it easier when he’s leaving."
Well that is weird
Louisville used a 19-2 run to pull away in the first half and never looked back, coasting to a 64-50 win over Notre Dame on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
The incident was an embarrassment for the Bearcats, then unranked, but one the team managed to eventually use to its benefit. A lineup change, and a refinement of focus, helped Cincinnati develop into the team that will play for the Big East men’s basketball tournament championship after upsetting top-seeded Syracuse, 71-68, in the semifinals Friday at Madison Square Garden.