USA TODAY Sports
Mick Cronin and his limping Bearcats welcome Villanova to Fifth Third Arena for a key Big East battle
If the Bearcats are waiting for the right time to start playing their best basketball of the season, now seems like a pretty good time for that. Coming off two fairly disappointing losses to Providence and Pittsburgh, Villanova comes to town and provides UC with an opportunity to get back in the "W" column. If the Bearcats don't want to slip into 10th (TENTH!!!!) place, they better be up to the task tonight.
Much like Mick Cronin hasn't a clue as to which Bearcats team of his will show up tonight, Jay Wright hasn't a clue which Wildcats team he's going to have. The team that knocked off Syracuse and Louisville in the same week? Or the team that lost at home to Providence? One thing that's for sure is Villanova comes to town on a little bit of a hot streak after destroying cellar dwellers DePaul and South Florida. All Bearcat fans hope that's nothing but a little fool's gold in favor of the Wildcats. We'll see tonight.
One issue that hasn't yet been determined is the exact health of the Bearcats' roster. Not many players are 100% in February anyway, but these Bearcats appear to be nowhere near that right now. I'm not a Justin Jackson fan (at least on the offensive end) but this team does need him on the floor. They feed off his energy and attitude and that showed Saturday night as he missed the majority of the Pitt game. Cashmere Wright insists he's not as hurt as his jump shot, but numbers don't lie. Cash has been in a pretty bad slump. Now would be a great time to get on a hot streak. Same goes with Sean Kilpatrick. No word on his finger, but at this point no news is good news so I guess we're to assume he'll play and be fine.
Life in the Big East is rough. There are no East Carolinas or Tulanes on the schedule for Mick to rest someone. At this point in the season, it's time to start working your way up the seed lines, not back toward the bubble. A loss tonight would be quite devastating especially with Georgetown staring you in the face on Friday followed by Uconn and Notre Dame both on the road soon thereafter.
I'm feeling a little uneasy right now, so let's see who else is. (also to see how many are visiting and who even cares) Vote below...
Who wins tonight?
Cincinnati (12 votes)
Villanova (4 votes)
16 total votes