Friday, March 18, 2011

U.C. Means Business Now

After entertaining the media with an "Afternoon at the Improv" on Wednesday, the U.C. locker room was more business-like Friday afternoon. This team always seems to have fun, but they were hyper-fun for 48 hours, and feel a need to dial back a bit and take a shot at the Sweet 16. Larry Davis said the plan is to bear down in D.C., then have fun when they get back to Cincinnati. To really have fun, the Bearcats will have to overcome one of the hottest teams in the country. Connecticut won five games in five days to claim the Big East tournament title, then destroyed Bucknell in the first round of the NCAA tournament. It was just about three weeks ago when UConn beat the Bearcats at U.C. by a score of 67-59. All-Everything guard Kemba Walker had 16 points in that game, many of those points coming in a key second half that put the game out of reach, But while beating UConn might begin with stopping Walker, it doesn't end there. Freshman Jeremy Lamb led UConn with 17 points that day. As Darnell Wilks says, you can't let Walker get his teammates going. When that happens the Huskies become a multi-headed monster. Should U.C. be able to play Saturday night with the same energy and efficiency that was shown against Missouri, the Bearcats have a chance. The U.C. players claim they are still looking for respect. They will get that and more with a win Saturday night. They will earn the school's first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2001.
By the way, the bad blood between Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun and U.C. head coach Mick Cronin seems to be gone. At the Big East tournament Calhoun called out Cronin for being the only Big East coach not to vote for Kemba Walker as part of the All-Big East team. But there was a problem. Cronin said he did vote for Walker and Mick returned fire by saying if Calhoun wanted to know who Cronin voted for, Calhoun should have asked before making public accusations. Today Calhoun said he called Mick and this is no longer an issue.

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