Friday, January 7, 2011

'Nati Light

There are seven undefeated teams left in major D-1 basketball right now. Thus far, Daily Onions has at least mentioned six of them in this space: Duke, Ohio State, Kansas, Syracuse, San Diego State, and UCF. Time to give some love to the other remaining perfect team, the Cincinnati Bearcats.

Ranked for the first time this week, Cincy was catching some flack for their strength of schedule.  Sure they were undefeated, but who'd they beat. Talk a look at their schedule and the answer is no one. That is unless you consider Utah Valley, Savannah State, Dayton, and Toledo quality wins.

Gates was up, and good last night vs. X (AP)
Well last night, the Bearcats faced their toughest test to date - one of the more underrated rivalries in college basketball - a matchup with cross-town rival Xavier (although X hasn't been that great this season). If this game was meant to be a test to see if Cincy was legit (not sure if you can say that yet), then they passed with flying colors. Led by 6-9, 260lb forward Yancy Gates, the Bearcats dominated. Gates had 22 points, 14 boards and 2 blocks, and looked like a man amongst boys inside, on both sides of the floor.

Next up for 'Nati is the true measuring stick, a Sunday afternoon play date at Villanova. If Gates dominates, then Cincy has a chance since Nova is a little thin up front. With that said, I think guard play from the two Corey's (Fisher and Stokes, not Haim and Feldman) will be too much for the Bearcats to handle, especially at the Pavillion. After Nova, Cincy hosts USF, then goes to Syracuse, ND and St. Johns. They are 15-0 right now, and Daily Onions predicts they'll be 17-3 after that stretch.

With what they've done, I'm fine with Cincinnati being ranked in the Top 25. But as we have discussed this week, things will only get tougher for the Bearcats as they go through the gauntlet that is the Big East schedule. Am I betting heavy on Cincy being one of the top 5 teams in the Big East? Nah, I'll bet light.

No comments:

Post a Comment