Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Final Month Is Wide Open

College basketball is as wide open as ever heading into the final weeks of the regular season. While there is an upper-echelon of teams including Ohio State, Kansas, Duke, Texas, and an array of suspects from Big East, there is no safe bet to get to the Final Four. There is no safe bet to get to the Elite Eight. There may not be a safe bet to get to the Sweet Sixteen. It is that wide open. It's bubble teams? Good luck sorting that out.

On paper, the Bearcats toughest game left would be the one Wednesday night at Georgetown. None of the games left are easy. Should they continue to play with the urgency displayed against Louisville and most of the Providence game, U.C. will make the NCAA tournament. Two more wins, and the 'Cats are a lock. The two home games offer the best chances for wins, (UConn and Gtown) but stealing a game at Marquette next week would be huge. One win, and they might still make it. But they would have to win at lest one game in the Big East tourney. Cashmere Wright and Yancy Gates will continue to be the key.

Xavier did the right thing by not forcing Tu Holloway into another triple-double. The game against LaSalle was long put to rest, and how bad would it have been if Tu grabs that tenth rebound and suffers a high ankle sprain int he process? 15 assists is an eye-popping number by itself. Wow! 15 in a college game. That is tied for second most in school history. Keith Walker had 18 in a game back in 1980. Earlier this season Tu had 14 in a game against Wake Forest. It was good to see X come out an claim this game from the get-go. Every team has a clunker or two and Xavier had one of those letdowns against Fordham Saturday night. It didn't happen against LaSalle as the Musketeers jumped out to a 38-6 lead. I don't care what team you are playing, you jump out 38-6, you are playing some serious basketball. Once again the Muskies are peaking at a good time.

Really? No franchise tag for the Bengals? Does this team just not care about winning at all? Sorry, but I just don't buy the line that the cost for Johnathan Joseph of Cedric Benson is "prohibitive." What a cop-out. Sure, Joseph has struggled with injuries and I understand being leery of that. I'll cut the Bengals some slack if the end up using a transition tag. But it's funny everyone else in the AFC North is using their franchise tag. But not the Bengals, because things are just going so swimmingly well for them. Gimme a break.

While on the subject of franchise tags, it is hilarious that the Browns used their tag on kicker Phil Dawson. I didn't understand when the Bengals did it with Shayne Graham (how did that work out?) and I don't get it now.

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