Bert Blathers- Also in Tuesday’s B1G Conference Call, Coach Bielema talked about how impressed he is with Ohio State’s improvement as the season has progressed. He mentioned the offensive line in particular, and said that they are playing really well at this point in the year. He also addressed speculation that his team would be satisfied after last week’s win, which put them into the Conference Championship Game for the second straight year; and said that his team would not see a let down against the Buckeyes, especially given last year’s game. Added to the fact that it’s “Senior Day”, and it’s sure to be a high intensity game.
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The Big East has a lot of ranked teams this year, to say the least, and some believe that the conference will have as many as 10 teams in the NCAA Tournament come March. While the debate will rage on about the true strength of the Big East, it is fairly certain that the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Cincinnati Bearcats will be two of the teams from the conference on the periphery of the conversation at the end of the season, trying to make their case that they are worthy of being included in the Big Dance. This pair of unranked teams faced each other over the past weekend, hoping to improve their stock and take a step forward in the conference standings among their more formidable brethren.
It was a packed house at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati, as the fans turned out to welcome back Bob Huggins one more time. Huggy hasn’t changed too much since his time in the Nasty Natty by all appearances, but the Bearcat program he left behind has certainly experienced a decline in stature. The Bearcats have had some decent squads and some decent players come through since Huggins left in 2005, but have not made a trip to the NCAA Tournament since their former coach moved on (or more accurately, was moved on).
This year’s Cincinnati team has shown some promise of finally getting back to the postseason showcase, but a strong early season record is starting to look a bit misleading in the light of recent losses. Saturday’s contest ultimately resulted in another loss for the Bearcats, only their fourth on the season, but likely a preview of things to come as Big East play rolls along. Saturday’s final was a 66-55 tally in favor of WVU, a score that to some extent reflects the grind-it-out, ugly style that Huggins seems to have perfected. Read More