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February 18th Jump Off

Slow news day so this will be abbreviated relative to yesterdays.

More Louisville Coverage:

Cincinnati Steals Supermans Cape: ESPN

Cronin, who spent two years as an assistant at Louisville under Rick Pitino, likened the Cardinals' ability to get steals off its press and knock down 3-pointers in a hurry to "Batman with his armor and Superman with his cape." "If you take away who they are, they're just Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne," Cronin said.

I am usually not a big fan of Micks press conferences, or the analogies he labors to construct therein, that one is a treasure.

Desperate Cincinnati Dominates Louisville: UofL Card Game

Can’t afford either to miss three open shots in the first 80 seconds. Won’t be many open ones thereafter. Goodbye confidence, farewell three-point shooting advantage, say hello to a confident and inspired Cincinnati defense.

Nothing doing down the lane, foreign territory for anyone except Peyton Siva. This game Peyton having to rely almost entirely on those unorthodox moves for shots, looking desperate, coming up empty.

I know it is all bold, and no, I am not yelling at you that is how they format posts. Hard to argue with their thesis, they had their best looks early in the game and couldn't knock them down. UC took control at about the 18 minute mark and that was it.

A busy day on the bubble: The Dagger

For the first time in five tries this season, the Bearcats (20-6 overall, 7-6 Big East) notched a win against a ranked opponent, taking care of the 16th-ranked Cards, 63-54.

The victory doesn't quite punch Cincy's dance ticket, as its five-game stretch to close out the regular season features two meetings with No. 9 Georgetown, a home game with No. 13 UConn and trips to face Marquette and Providence.

I don't think the Louisville win is the clincher, but barring a major collapse down the stretch, I am talking 1-4 with a loss in the first round at the Garden, UC should be in. Another win over a ranked team would just about do it.

Yancy Gates and the Burden of Expectations: Dan Hoard

"The difference in our team this year when we've played at our best has been his defense," Mick said.  "His numbers have not changed and that might not please some, but my message to Yancy has been, 'You've changed our team with your commitment to defense.'  When his defense is excellent and he fortifies the paint, it's made us a winning basketball team.  He just has to stay focused on that and block out everything else that may be pulling on him.  It's a hard fight for someone his age with the weight of the world on his shoulders.  I'm just trying to be there for him right now.  Trust me when I tell you that if he wasn't a good kid and didn't care about this program, he would not be with us."

All of what Mick said is true, every word of it. UC has to get great effort from Yancy Gates to play to form. Has to. But Gates has been defined by sporadic at best effort in his days in a UC uniform, which is part of the problem. When he wants to be the best Power Forward in the Big East he is the best power forward in the Big East, but he doesn't want that everyday and that's the genesis of my frustration.

Other Bearcat News:

UC Assistant Candidate For Middletown Job:

According to the Middletown Journal, University of Cincinnati assistant coach Troy Everhart was interviewed Monday night for the head football coaching position for Middletown.

This isn't really surprising. Everhart is the recruiting services coordinator for UC. What that entails is organizing the logistics of recruiting, travel, lodging, schedule etc. That's his job at UC, no actual recruiting, no on field coaching. I am sure that Everhart is fine with that for now, but I doubt he left the Winton Woods job for this one, which is a massive pay cut by the way. When Jones said that he plans no staff changes Everhart had to go looking.

Nationally Recognized

The Auburn Oak Tree Killer Is In Custody: Dr. Saturday

Put it this way: Whatever you're going for, when the result forces Alabama's president, Alabama blogs and the daughter of Alabama's head coach to express sincere sympathy with Alabama's most hated rival, you have seriously miscalculated.

I don't know if you have been paying attention to whats going on at Auburn but it is really quite worth your time for a refresh. This the "Only in Alabama" story that should stand on a pedestal for all of eternity.

Reading This Will Make You Smarter

The Dubai Job: GQ

Most of the operatives here are members of a secretive unit within the Mossad known as Caesarea, a self-contained organization that is responsible for the agency's most dangerous and critical missions: assassinations, sabotage, penetration of high-security installations. Caesarea's "fighters," as they are known, are the elite of the Mossad. They rarely interact with other operatives and stay away from Mossad headquarters north of Tel Aviv, instead undergoing intensive training at a separate facility to which no one else in the agency has access. They are forbidden from ever using their real names, even in private conversation, and—with the exception of their spouses—their families and closest friends are unaware of what they do. As one longtime Caesarea fighter recently told me, "If the Mossad is the temple of Israel's intelligence community, then Caesarea is its holy of holies."

This is a pretty fascinating story, if a bit long, but if you have half an hour to kill at some point today give this a go. You won't be disappointed.