The University of Cincinnati Bearcats men’s basketball team began the season with a flurry of sunshiny jubilation. They won the Crosstown Classic against local rival Xavier University and were undefeated, climbing in the polls into the top ten. But then the clouds moved in.
The Bearcats 66-60 loss to Notre Dame last night was their third defeat in the past four games, and their third in a row at home. While Notre Dame had several players hit double digits, Sean Kilpatrick was the only one to do so for Cincinnati. This coupled with missing five of eleven free throws just didn’t add up to enough offense to beat the Irish of Notre Dame.
These losses by UC should be considered in perspective. Two of the teams the Bearcats fells to, New Mexico and Notre Dame, are both currently ranked in the AP Top 25. Their other loss was to St. John, which is not considered a powerhouse, but does hold a respectable 9-5 record.
While it hurts that Cincinnati is now 1-2 in the Big East, college basketball is an odd bird. When tournament selection time comes around, it is certainly better to have faltered early in the season than it is do so as March draws closer. Some might say it is actually a good thing to get the stumbling out of the way now.
Ironically University of Cincinnati President Santa Ono had promised to shave his head if the team won their first ten games of the season. The Bearcats accomplished the task and Ono was given his new hairless coif after the game last night. Perhaps Ono should issue another challenge to help get the team back on track. He’d be stunning with a UC Bearcat tattoo.