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The Top 10 Stories of the Year at Down the Drive Part Two

Here’s what REALLY got everybody going in 2017.

Cincinnati v Michigan Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Welcome back. If you missed it, we listed the No. 10 through No. 6 stories yesterday. Now we’re back to give you what you’ve been waiting for: No. 5 through No. 1.

Quick refresher on the rules: Each story had to have been published after Jan. 1, 2017. Full pages, story streams and more perfunctory posts (How to Watchs) were excluded. That’s it. To the rankings! (Again).

5. Eight Predictions for 2017-18 Cincinnati Bearcats Basketball

Date published: Nov. 9

Synopsis: Hype for Cincinnati basketball was at an extreme high, as were our prognostications for the 2017-18 season.

Excerpt: This is the deepest and best team in the AAC and one of the best in the country overall. In his first bracket projection of the season, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi pegged UC as a No. 3 seed, which would put them in the running for a deep run in the tourney, a place that has been filled with more speed bumps then green lights recently.

4. Cincinnati Bearcats Basketball: Taking Stock of the Incoming Freshman

Date published: May 26

Synopsis: The Bearcats had a lot of exciting freshmen for the 2017-18 class, including Keith Williams, Trevor Moore, Mamoudou Diarra and Eliel Nsoseme.

Excerpt: Mamoudou Diarra and Eliel Nsoseme are tall, lanky projects that will need to bulk up considerably before they can make a consistent impact. That said, there are two players from the class have the talent to contribute in the same way Jarron Cumberland did in the previous season.

3. Jarron Cumberland: Crosstown Shootout Legend

Date published: Jan. 27

Synopsis: A story about Cumberland was already in this top 10, but the then freshman made a major mark on the Crosstown Shootout, taking the leap from exciting recruit to important contributor.

Excerpt: After managing only two points across nine minutes in the first half, the Bearcats’ biggest recruiting get in years hit big shot after big shot in the second. He made 5-of-7 shots from the floor, including 2-of-4 from three-point range, and even if he still made mistakes (1-of-4 at the free-throw line), its impossible to imagine UC winning its first Crosstown Shootout in four years without Cumberland carrying the load for so much of the last frame.

2. Clayton Asks Himself a Question: Which College Basketball Program Would Have the All-Time Greatest Three-on-Three Basketball Team?

Date published: Jan. 19

Synopsis: Hypothetical questions are fun. Clayton asked one and then answered it for himself. This one involved making fantasy three player basketball teams for major college basketball programs and deciding who would win in a tournament.

Excerpt: Cincinnati: Oscar Robertson, Nick Van Exel, Kenyon Martin: The Big O is the best all-around player in this tournament. You know it and I know it. But that won’t be enough for the Bearcats. Despite the numerous skills of Van Exel and Martin, our lack of a dominant big man (Editor’s Note: K-Mart isn’t/wasn’t dominant?) will prevent us from bringing home the Blockbuster Video Employee of the Month plaque I found at a Methodist Church rummage sale to serve as this tournament’s trophy.

1. Simulating Cincinnati at Michigan

Date published: Sept. 6

Synopsis: Using WhatIfSports, we simulated the matchup between the Bearcats and the Michigan Wolverines before the teams clashed this past season.

Excerpt: The Michigan Wolverines are a good football team. The Cincinnati Bearcats probably aren’t, at least based on how they played in their season opener. Those two facts are known to people but what about to machines?

There you have it. Thanks for reading this year.