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February 17th Jump Off

Still basking in the glow of last nights win? That's great, keep that up. This song should help, or at least it does for me. Nothing quite like some West London folk music to keep the good times rolling. Apparently being from an area that hosted the 19th centuries most original, and notorious, serial killer gets the creative juices flowing. I guess it is the geo-historical equivalent of weed.

Louisville Post Game Links

Bearcats Get Second Straight Win Against Louisville: Associated Press

The storm clouds were brewing, but Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin refused to let the raindrops hit him.

Cronin kept telling the Bearcats to believe in themselves even as they dropped three of four, even as star forward Yancy Gates found himself suspended and then benched in the second half of a loss to St. John's on Sunday."I told them, 'We're 19-6, we need to be proud of it, need to act like it,'" Cronin said. "We don't need to let anybody define us individually or as a group that's outside of our locker room."

The us against the world sentiment can be a very powerful one, and Cronin used it a lot when UC was trying to get ranked a couple of months ago. But I have felt that it is liable to the law of diminishing returns. Given the performance last night that appears not to be the case.

Cincinnati is right back into the bubble picture: Ballin Is A Habit

"We made some adjustments defensively to make our team more aggressive," Cronin said. "Our message to our team was if we had a high deflection total that we would win the game. The guys really bought into it and did a great job with our intensity on the defensive end. That was the difference in the game"

That was evident from the onset, and it is the type of defense this team needs to play for the rest of the year.

Bearcats Upset #16 Louisville: Cincinnati Enquirer

The Bearcats have developed a bad habit in Big East play of falling behind before playing with a sense of urgency, but that wasn’t the case in the first half.

Bill "Captain Obvious" Koch with some more solid, solid stuff here.

Cincinnati throttles Louisville from the start: Courier-Journal

U of L coach Rick Pitino stuck with six players through the first 10 minutes of the second half. The Cards expended so much energy getting back into the game that they had nothing left to complete the rally as they had done in so many other games this season.

Yet another game where UC's deep, deep bench played a big factor for the Bearcats.

Loss to Cincinnati not typical of Louisville Basketball: Courier-Journal

"They took us out of our offense," U of L center Terrence Jennings said. "The effort was there. We didn't execute properly and focus in on getting stops like we were supposed to be. We played hard. Nobody dogged it."

That was the key to the game. Any team that can defend the three point line well will give the Cardinals fits. That hasn't been the strong point of UC to date, but they really played the three exceptionally well last night.

Cronin must have also studied video of Kentucky's victory over the Cardinals. He assigned Rashad Bishop, a 6-foot-6 senior forward, the job of defending Louisville point guard Peyton Siva. Bishop used his seven-inch height advantage to squeeze Siva the same way DeAndre Liggins did on New Year's Eve.

This is something that isn't getting a ton of burn among UC fans but was a huge factor in the game. Cashmere Wright has a lot of distinguishing characteristics, tough man to man defense isn't one of them. Taking Wright off Siva was a big factor in UofL's bad first half on offense.

Bearcats Get Big Win: Bearcats Blog

The importance of this win can't be understated. UC needed a statement. With over 11,000 in the stands at 5/3, they made one. 7-6 looks pretty good to me at this point. Gotta hope there are more performances like this coming.


Cincy Shocks Cardinals: News Record

Cronin delivered his junior point guard simple instructions prior to tipoff Wednesday: a game plan that included less of an emphasis on structured play calling for running the offense.

"Coach Cronin just told me from the get-go just to reduce the play calling and just told me to be aggressive and just attack," Wright said. "Just attack and attack and attack."

Cashmere Wright on attack mode is a much better propostion this morning than it was at the start of Big East play. Cash has really elevated his play in the Big East.

Other Bearcat News

Stephanie Niemer First Team All-American:

Stephanie Niemer, a senior on the University of Cincinnati volleyball team, received another tribute to her storied Bearcat career when Volleyball Magazine named her to its All-America First Team in the February 2011 issue.

The latest honor rolled in for the best Volleyball player in UC history

Brush With Fame: Daniel Murray: Andrew Force

Amongst the most sought after unsigned football players in the world trained with high school senior Murray. How did this unlikely pairing come to be?

"I know his trainer," said Murray. "I am doing footwork with him."

Prior to his NFL workouts this month Cam began training with George Whitfield Jr. in San Diego. Newton's father decided to get Cam a few snaps and refine his "under center routine."

Pretty interesting story

Big East:

Kemba Walker is back: The UConn Blog

Welcome back, all, to the Kemba Walker Show.

Here is the objectivity: 31 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds, 1 eye-popping self-pass off the backboard for a layup. 13-23 from the field, 12-18 from inside the 3-point line. Two backbreaking buckets to turn a 70-69 deficit into a 73-70 lead with just over a minute to play.

Here's the subjectivity: KEMBA KEMBA YEAH YEAH OH YEAH

Kemba Walker is that supper chill girl you meet at a party. Not the 10, but the 8 or the 9 with a fantastic sense of humor and the ability to talk with sophistication about more than Lindsay Lohan's coke issues. You leave her for a while to chase the 10 before you remember that the 9 is the coolest girl you have ever met. That is Kemba Walker in a nut shell.

The Streak is over: Casual Hoya

At some point during the day, everyone who reads this blog fell into delusional land and had a dream of Georgetown streaking the rest of the season and then cruising through the Big East Tournament en route to a 1 seed. While the first part of that dream has now died, this is not a terrible loss. Though Austin Freeman suffered an off night, he, Wright, Jason Clark, and Hollis Thompson were in double figures and Vaughn continued to show flashes of being a highly effective post scorer. More than half the Georgetown baskets came on assists and this game highlighted the teamwork that established the streak.

Georgetown landing on a number one always seemed a bit far fetched to me. OSU, Texas, Kansas and Pitt probably have those on lock. But the Hoyas are poised to do damage with their troika of guards rolling as they are.

Nationally Recognized

Yes, Tom Izzo, Michigan State is actually dead: Searching for Billy Edelin

Look, the Spartans are currently on a 30-day nosedive. Players are quitting on the team. Worst of all, their resume is in complete shambles and could go ignored by the committee. Izzo has a strange history of underwhelming lately in Big Ten Tournaments (hasn't won since 2000), and considering the circumstances, that might be the most damning evidence of all.

Don't believe what you've heard, Michigan State is absolutely dead. Durrell Summers pulled the plug last night. I saw it happen.

Hard to argue with that point, it really is.

Cam Newton gets last laugh with Under Armour jackpot: Dan Wetzel

It also helped land Newton the largest endorsement deal ever for a NFL rookie, a multiyear shoe and apparel endorsement contract with Under Armour, according to Darren Rovell at CNBC. While specific numbers were not available, the deal will reportedly surpass Reggie Bush’s $1 million per year contract with Adidas that was signed in 2006.

This is a College Football conspiracy theorists wet dream.

Reading This Will Make You Smarter

From prison, Madoff Says banks had to know of fraud: New York Times

But during a private two-hour interview in a visitor room here on Tuesday, and in earlier e-mail exchanges, he asserted that unidentified banks and hedge funds were somehow "complicit" in his elaborate fraud, an about-face from earlier claims that he was the only person involved.

Way to stay classy Madoff.