If you look at the Mick Cronin Era, it is not hard to spot at least one trend. His Cincinnati teams tend to start hot, and finish poorly. Now the composition of the schedule, with many cupcakes coming early in the season and Big East clashes coming later, undoubtedly has something to do with this. But it is interesting to note, nonetheless:
2006-07: 9-3 start, 2-16 finish
2007-08: 13-12 start, 0-7 finish
2008-09: 10-2 start, 8-12 finish
This year’s team was at one point 10-3, with three very impressive wins over Maryland, Vanderbilt, and Connecticut. Now, just four games later, they site at 11-6, losing games to Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, and St. Johns.
These next two games, home contests against Notre Dame and South Florida, both beatable but tough teams, may play a big role in deciding how this season will finish up. After this short two game home stand, Cincy has a slew of difficult games remaining on the schedule, including at Louisville, at Notre Dame, Syracuse, at UCONN, at South Florida, Marquette, at West Virginia, Villanova, and at Georgetown. Welcome to Big East basketball. There are really no “easy” games remaining, outside of maybe DePaul.