BX News and Notes

BX News and Notes
Dec 15, 2006, 02:39 am
-Exam week is winding down for most universities, which means more teams will be playing this weekend. Hopefully all of you college students out there were able to survive. I know how stressful that can all be.

-I don’t know what has happened to Louisville. They haven’t looked like a tournament caliber team since they went to the Final Four in 2005. Last season they started off 13-2, but did so against a very weak schedule that consisted of teams that not only played in weak conferences, but were some of the poorest teams in those conferences. They won just five of their last fifteen regular season games, which earned them a spot in the NIT. This year, they once again appear to have a very talented team, but haven’t looked all that good. They are 5-3 with losses to Dayton, Arizona and Massachusetts. Those teams aren’t exactly terrible, but Dayton and Massachusetts are hardly top 25 caliber teams. Out of their five wins the only team that they’ve really dominated is Sacramento State. Bellarmine, a div2 team, hung with them pretty close. They only defeated Ohio by three points, and Saint Joseph’s put up a battle as well. None of those teams appear to be tournament caliber, but yet Louisville is struggling against them. As talented as they are and as good as coach Rick Pitino is one would think it’s only a matter of time before they really kick it into gear, but it never happened last year and they’ve shown no signs of coming to life this year. They will face Kentucky on Saturday, which is a huge rivalry game. As far as turning their season around, winning that game would be a very nice start.

-Cincinnati hadn’t really looked all that impressive this season, but got a big win against cross-town rival Xavier on Wednesday. The Bearcats didn’t shoot the ball that well, but played extremely tough defense and forced several Xavier turnovers. It should give them quite a bit of momentum for their next game against Ohio State. For Xavier, it’s a damaging loss because there aren’t a whole lot of tournament caliber teams remaining on their schedule, which means their margin for error isn’t all that big. Xavier fans are not taking this well. Although they have defeated Cincinnati seven of the past ten seasons coming into this game, they usually don’t get the national respect and attention that the Bearcats do. With Cincinnati going through a rebuilding period, Xavier fans believed that they had surpassed them for the time being. They could still end up having a bigger year, but as of now all the bragging rights belong to UC. Regardless of what happens the rest of this season, Cincinnati won’t be down for long. Mick Cronin is a great coach and recruiter and he’ll build them back up in a hurry. As for the rivalry, they’ve now won two of the past three against Xavier.

-De Paul has certainly righted their ship after beginning the season in losing four of their first five against div1 teams. They’ve since won three of their last four, including an upset win against Kansas and a blowout win against Wake Forest last night. Their only loss in that four game stretch came in overtime to UAB, so they are very close to having won four in a row against relatively good teams. They are on the road against Rhode Island this Saturday, which is certainly a winnable game.

-New Mexico and Oregon are both playing in Buy Games tonight. A rundown of Saturday’s action will be posted later today.

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