Cincinnati Bearcats Lock Up NCAA Birth and Big East Double Bye With 72-68 Win.

Feb 23, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats mascot performs during the game against the Louisville Cardinals at the FifthThird Arena. The Bearcats defeated the Cardinals 60-56. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

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Today is a day of firsts for the Cincinnati Bearcats. The win over the Wildcats of Villanova was the first in the city of Phildelphia since joining the Big East. It was the 12th Big East win of the season, the first time thats happened in 7 years of play in the conference. And coupled with Georgetown's loss on the road to Marquette the Cats will finish in 4th place in the conference, and more importantly have wrapped up a double bye in the Big East tournament. If I reeled of this list of accomplishments as expectations in October there would be near unanimous consent that those expectations were justified.

If I reeled of the same list at about 2:30 PM on December 10 you would have gladly wheeled me into an insane asylum. This game wasn't really about this game if that makes any sense. The result is the result, and it's a good one. But what this team has accomplished in essentially meeting expectations while weathering an unreal level of scrutiny is probably the great untold story of this college basketball season. Never has a team had to overcome so much to accomplish what was expected. Certainly not in recent UC history. So take the day, sit back, relax, enjoy yourself and try to wrap your head around this weird, wild and utterly unpredictable season. UC's Big East Tournament starts Thursday at 2. See you there. And by there I mean here.

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