One year after seemingly winning every tight game and claiming all of the "50-50" balls, the 2013 version of the Cincinnati Bearcats seems to be coming up on the short end. If there is some luck left for this team, let's hope it shows up pretty soon or the 2012-2013 season is going to be remembered as one of the more disappointing campaigns. Not that their record is embarrassing or there have been off the court incidents like in the Huggins years, but I believe nearly every Bearcat fan had much higher hopes for this team.
But before we go writing their eulogy let's not forget they're not dead. They're not currently even on the proverbial "bubble" as some would have you believe. Their resume is still pretty good and let's also not forget just how ungodly bad the bubble really is. It's horrible. When you have several A-10 teams on it, there's still hope. And lots of it.
So what makes UC a lock for the tournament?
- 10-8? That mark assumes they win both home games and steal one at Louisville or Notre Dame. Tall, tall task and highly unlikely.
- 9-9? This assumes winning both home games (doable) and losing both road games (probable).
- 8-10? This assumes just beating USF on Senior Day. Good God please don't let us get to this point. Message boards and twitter are already unbearable right now. I could not, nor do I want to, imagine losing three more in a row.
In my uneducated opinion, 9-9 gets it done. With solid non-conference wins over Oregon, Iowa State, and Alabama, plus nine Big East wins (Marquette and at Pittsburgh included), it's a solid resume. Of course it puts them in the 7-8-9 range but quite honestly I'll take my chances against Gonzaga or just about any #1 outside of Indiana at this point.
Just. Get. In.
In order for this to happen, UC cannot have extended periods of Cashmere Wright disappearing like he did last night in the second half and overtime. They cannot have periods where the offense scores no points...like they did last night. We've been saying these things quite a lot lately unfortunately. It doesn't appear as if this team is improving like last year's group did. But again, there's still time. One win can do wonders for a team. Should they somehow knock off Notre Dame Sunday they could gain an incredible boost of confidence. I think we'd all vote for that.