It got ugly as it usually does, but the Bearcats started hot and finished hot en route to a convincing 61-44 trouncing of the Providence Friars in their opening game of the final Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. I do think we can call that a "trouncing" because with this team any double-figure win is a blowout. So we'll go with trouncing today.
The first 15 minutes of the game was probably the best this team has played since the Villanova game. They got contributions from everyone including buckets from Ge'Lawn Guyn, Jermaine Sanders, and Shaq Thomas. Jaquon Parker also hit back-to-back threes in one stretch that boosted the lead to a game-high 18 points.
But, as we all know, it couldn't last. The Bearcats got sloppy and Providence started hitting shots and pulled to within eight by halftime. The lead would shrink to as little as four before the Cats finally regrouped and settled down. The final five minutes of the game were dominated by Sean Kilpatrick and the 2012 version of Jaquon Parker grabbing tough rebounds and making clutch free throws (only 1-and-1 situations; 2 shot fouls are still a mystery).
Now, the Georgetown Hoyas await. No doubt they remember last year's classic double OT game in which the Bearcats came from 11 points down in the second half to pull out the stunner. Hopefully helping the Bearcats' cause for tomorrow is the fact that Mick Cronin was able to rotate plenty of players into the game. Guyn, Sanders, Thomas, Jackson all played key minutes off the bench and allowed Cashmere Wright and the guards to not be overworked.
OK...can we tip it off tonight? I'm pumped up!! How do we feel about the game tomorrow? See below...