I had a hard time thinking of post ideas today. I thought there was something in JaQuon Parker's performance between halves, but the data showed that he's pretty even, despite having no first half production at all the past two games. That's right, JaQuon hasn't score a first half basket in 2 games. Kind of weird. I think he'll score the first basket against Rutgers. That's my bold prediction.
Speaking of predictions, the man Cameron asked why I didn't predict the rest of the games on the schedule. That seems easy enough. Thank you Cameron. I'm nothing if not a man of the people. You have ideas, I'll put them to use. You have theories that you want me to look into, I'll look into them. Bearcats Blog is the blog of the people. It's our little Bearcat community. Don't be shy. Be like Cameron and bend my ear.
Cue the picture of the weird looking guy and let's get it on.
Rutgers – W (17-4, 5-3)
This game is Wednesday night. Cincinnati already went to Rutgers and won pretty easily. The 10 point final was the UC advantage most of the second half. Eli Carter probably won't go 1 for 100 again, but Cincinnati is better than Rutgers. I think the Marquette game was a turning point for the home wins. I think they start coming more frequently. Like your mom.
@ Seton Hall – W (18-4, 6-3)
This game is 11 am on Saturday morning as part of the ESPNU hates college basketball series. Seton Hall will probably be 2-6 in the BE after they lose to Georgetown. Their only wins are over USF and DePaul. The Pirates shoot a lot of 3s and could have the crazy home win. I don't think it comes against the Bearcats. With the early start time, this game could be closer than we want.
@ Providence – W (19-4, 7-3)
Outside of the Louisville game, Providence hasn't been blown out in Big East play. I think they are going to catch UConn, UC or ND in the Dunk. The Bearcats trip to PC a couple years ago nearly got away from them. Despite the dangerous road game and quality guard play the Friars have, I think Cincinnati is going to pull this one out.
Pittsburgh – L (19-5, 7-4)
Pittsburgh is a quality team that plays some ugly games. I'm thinking the Panthers are going to lose to Syracuse and beat Seton Hall. That starts a tough 3 game grind for them @ UC, @ Marquette and against ND. The Bearcats and Panthers are pretty much the same type of team. One of these has to go the other way. I can't pick UC to go undefeated. I'm not that big a homer.
Villanova – W (20-5, 8-4)
Villanova had an amazing week beating Louisville and Syracuse. After a trip to ND on Wednesday, they play PC, DePaul and USF. They should have a 3 game winning streak coming into Cincinnati. This has been an entirely different team lately. Unless they beat ND, they aren't going to have any significant road wins. That shouldn't change against Cincinnati. The Bearcats have to win games like this to stay near the top of the Big East standings. I think they will on this night.
Georgetown – W (21-5, 9-4)
I thought about this one for a minute, but it's hard to think Cincinnati will lose 2 of 3 in a crucial late season home stand. I know, I know, they just lost 3 home games in a row. The Bearcats have had the Hoyas number lately. They swept them a couple of years ago, they won at Georgetown last season and beat the Hoyas in a Big East tournament classic. The Hoyas should be on a 6 game winning streak, or at the very least fresh off of winning 5 of 6. A solid test, but one Cincinnati should pass if they think they are who they are.
@ Connecticut – L (21-6, 9-5)
The Huskies seem like the type of team that can beat the teams that aren't at the top of the league, but struggle with those who are. They couldn't hang with Louisville. They couldn't hang at Pitt. They were kind of screwed against Marquette, but they lost by 6. They play much harder than last year's squad. Beating UConn at UConn is still a tough thing to do. Only Louisville has toppled them at home this season.
@ Notre Dame – W (22-6, 10-5)
Unless something drastically changes, the Notre Dame team that we saw in early January is a thing of the past. Their schedule gets a lot harder minus 2 games against DePaul. The Bearcats played their worst defense of the season against ND in the first meeting. I know that South Bend has been a house of horrors for Cincinnati, but that has to end some time and I think this is the time. A game to erase some of the demons.
Connecticut – W (23-6, 11-5)
UC and UConn meet twice within 9 days. They play on Feb 21 and March 2. Everything I said about Connecticut up top still goes. This game being at Cincinnati is one that that Bearcats should win. A split seems about right.
@ Louisville – L (23-7, 11-6)
This is the last Big Monday game of the season. It could very well be the last time Cincinnati plays at Louisville for a long time with the Cards going to the ACC and all. The Cards are really hard to beat in Louisville. Cincinnati and Louisville tend to play games that are ugly. Like the Big East championship. Cashmere Wright has had great success against Peyton Siva. He was the only one who scored in the BET game. I think Louisville is a little too good for the Bearcats. No shame in dropping this one. I think UC could see them in NYC somehow, some way.
South Florida – W (24-7, 12-6)
South Florida is not very good. They probably won't win more than a handful of Big East games. One of them will not be at Cincinnati on Senior Day. Sorry, Voodoo 5 guys.
So there you have it. I pick the Bearcats to go 8-3 the rest of the way. With how things lay out, I think that's very obtainable. There could be a game or two swing in either direction, but that's just how things work. I hope UC does go 8-3 so I can proclaim my genius. Without trying to predict too hard, I think this is the type of deal where UC could end up with a 5 or 6 seed in the NCAA tournament. I would take that. I would take my chances as a 6 seed in a year like this.
This seemed to work out well. Thank you, Cameron. Thank all of you for reading. Happy Tuesday.