Every day there are three things, none worth devoting an individual post to, but each worth at least mentioning.
1) The Highland Heights Bearcats. UC's basketball team will be shacking up at NKU next season. My personal preference would be for the Bearcats to play at US Bank Arena next season. Since I root for me more than anyone, the main reason is US Bank Arena is about a three minute drive from my house, and about a 20-minute walk. It's also closer to where I work. Again, I root for me.
I also like the people who run the businesses at the Banks, I'm a big Holy Grail guy, and it'd be fun to postgame at my favorite bar after UC tilts.
And, as I've said a few times, I believe that a school that's publicly funded by Ohio taxpayers should hold its revenue-generating events in Ohio.
Let's all admit that temporary housing is never ideal housing. There's pros and cons to both US Bank Arena and BB&T Arena, and as a UC fan, I'm far more interested in things like what the newly-renovated Fifth Third Arena looks like, how it will impact an already-humming basketball program, and whether the new joint is affordable for fans who aren't big-money donors. Where the Bearcats take up residence as the new place is worked on matters, but far, far less than what their permanent home looks like.
Next year's UC team should be really, really good. Evans, Cumberland, Clark, and Washington should all be back. Scott and Brooks will have developed further. Jenifer with another offseason of development is intriguing. Cane Broome could help the Cats push the pedal on offense, and Mick has some signees that I can't wait to watch.
If they're as good next season as I believe they'll be - and if they're anywhere close to as good as they are this year - I'll go watch the Bearcats play if their home games are held in some abandoned warehouse.
2) Speaking of the Norse. Last night was a quality college hoops night. Indiana and Purdue played a agme that featured one of the odder officiating decisions I've seen, the newly-named "blarge.". The Hoosiers, with the loss, are 15-10, 5-7 in Big Ten play, and have offset their early-season wins over Kansas and North Carolina with some crap-tastic play in league games and a win total that's padded by a bunch of wins against teams that no one has heard of. At one time this season, IU looked like they'd be one of the most fun teams to watch this season. Now, they're painful to behold.
Duke's Luke Kennard and Grayson Allen combined for 45 in Duke's home win over North Carolina, and I went ahead and sent a Tweet about how good a player Allen can be. I'm terrified to read the mentions.
And Lonzo Ball gave us a reason to stay up late with a fantastic second half performance in a win over Oregon. Ball would make a fantastic Knick, which means he'd be a great player for the front office to alienate while he was active, and for ownership to abandon once he was retired.
The highlight for me though was checking in on the NKU game. The Norse avenged an earlier loss to Green Bay with a two-point home win last night. John Brannen is doing nice job with that team, which clinched a winning regular season record with the victory. I'm going to see them play against Milwaukee tomorrow night (and yes, I plan on staying for the whole game). If you're looking for something to do, you should join me. The Norse deserve local support.
3) New extra innings rules? From Jeff Passan....
Major League Baseball plans on testing a rule change in the lowest levels of the minor leagues this season that automatically would place a runner on second base at the start of extra innings, a distinct break from the game’s orthodoxy that nonetheless has wide-ranging support at the highest levels of the league, sources familiar with the plan told Yahoo Sports.
A derivation of the rule has been used in international baseball for nearly a decade and will be implemented in the World Baseball Classic this spring. MLB’s desire to test it in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League and Arizona League this summer is part of an effort to understand its wide in-game consequences – and whether its implementation at higher levels, and even the major leagues, may be warranted.
I really don't have a problem with this. Things like minor league baseball and the World Baseball Classic exist in part to be platforms for experimentation. There's nothing sacred about extra innings, and no one besides me seems to want to be at the ballpark for 15 innings and few will watch a game that goes that long. I'd actually like to see MLB use traditional rules for the tenth inning, and then maybe start going gimmicky in the later extra frames. Less than five percent of the 2,430 Major League games that were played last season went beyond the tenth inning, so we'd be talking about a relatively small number of games.
I'd like to see what the data says after a year or so of experimental use.
Radio Show: Three college basketball guests are on the schedule today, including ESPN's Dana O'Neil at 5:20. We'll also play Bengals free agency "Would You Rather" and we'll search for the most attractive person in Cincinnati sports. Join us at 3:05 on ESPN1530.