I am not going to go into the Bob Huggins return in this post. It is happening, and it is still just a little bit weird, but it doesn't have much bearing on this game, how it will play out or who will win any more than his choice of suit will. On the latter issue I am hoping for him to break out this one again.
Far more relevant in the discussion of this game is the fact WVU's best offensive weapon, Casey Mitchell, is suspended and that the Mountaineers are down to eight scholarship players. Mitchell is out and didn't make the trip to Cincinnati from Louisville according to everyone at WVU. Cronin thinks he will play and said so in his press conference.
Another thing I am not going to talk about is what WVU does on offense or defense in terms of strategy. Its the same as it ever was. You can always tell a Huggins coached team. They will play tough man to man defense to try to turn you over to get on the run. On offense they will play patient methodical offense and always seem to work their way into great shots. This team in particular really struggles to put up points. In the past two games they have put up 55 and 56 points. They were 1-1 in those games losing on a spectacular Peyton Siva layup that I am sure each of you has seen 10,000 times by now.
Given UC's advantage in terms of depth, the home court and the fact that UC plays defense as well as anyone in the country this is an eminently winnable game. More to the point this is a game that UC, a deep squad with a Big East record in the top half of the conference and legit tournament aspirations should win against a suddenly struggling and depth deprived conference rival.