Three Things: There's A College Basketball Season Happening.

posted by Mo Egger, ESPN1530 - 

Every day there are three things. Here are those three things.

1) The Bengals can't ruin the college basketball season. Wanna turn the page from Marvin Lewis?

OK, not in the way most of us would like, but still....wanna turn the page from Marvin Lewis?

We have a college basketball season in full swing.

An interesting one too.

Especially locally. 

UC easily handled a quality SMU club last night, dispatching of the Mustangs despite some horrid shooting in the first half, on the strength of some typically strong Bearcats defense, some good board work, and a more engaged Jarron Cumberland.

That's key.

Even on nights when Jarron didn't shoot it well, his energy is critical to this team's success.

So too is the playmaking of Jacob Evans, who's settled nicely into facilitator/scorer, balancing controlled aggressiveness with selective outside shooting. 

Mick Cronin went out of his way last night to praise his team's effort, and deservedly so.  Now if only the team I watched last night can show up on the road more consistently...

With Duke and Michigan State losing over the weekend, we were a Xavier win in Providence on Saturday away from maybe getting 1 v. 3 (or, 2) on Wednesday night in Philly. The Musketeers ran into a desperate Friars team that was frothing at the mouth for an upset at home, but were complicit in their demise on Saturday by playing and loose with the ball in the first half and getting less than ideal production from Trevon Bluiett, who disappeared in the second half.

These two developments, unfortunately, weren't exclusive to Saturday. Bluiett hasn't completely looked like himself in a while, and the Musketeers have established a track record of falling behind early.  If those two things manifest themselves against the best team I've seen this season on Wednesday, it's going to be a long night in Philly. 

Elsewhere...

John Calipari has a team that laid down on Saturday night in Knoxville, as the Wildcats were manhandled in the second half of a whistle-filled game in Knoxville, taking an L against a Tennessee team that finally figured out, for a night at least, how to close.

It's easy to cling to the fact that Calipari has had a few teams that looked lost in early January only to hit on all cylinders at the right time in late February and March. Maybe that's what happens with this year's UK team.  Little of what the Wildcats are showing right now, though, suggest that will be the case this season.

NKU played an excellent second half on national TV on Friday night, beating a decent Oakland team, then survived yesterday afternoon against Detroit Mercy, with Lavone Holland bailing out the Norse, setting up a collision on Thursday night between Horizon co-leader Wright State.  When NKU made it's league tourney run last March, a number of people asked what attending Norse games were like.  Seems like there's no better time to find out than Thursday evening.

And...

Chris Holtmann of Ohio State is the very early frontrunner for Big Ten Coach of the Year.

Anthony Grant of Dayton is the early frontrunner for Coach That Makes Me Scream Mean Things At The TV Of The Year. 

2) Wild Wild Card Weekend.  Lessons and observations from the opening weekend of the NFL Playoffs.

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever bet on Andy Reid in a big game when he's laying more than three points. (I didn't.)

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever bet on Blake Bortles when he's laying more than three points. (I did.)

Marcus Mariota and Blake Bortles now own playoff wins.

Andy Dalton does not.

Mike Mularkey and Doug Marrone now own playoff wins.

Marvin Lewis does not.

Neither does Andrew Whitworth. 

Sean McVay, boy genius, looked in over his head on Saturday night.  Jared Goff attempted 45 passes. Todd Gurley had 14 carries.  The numbers a skewed by having to come back from down by multiple scores late, but still....an MVP candidate has to get more than 14 lugs, especially when his QB is as green as Goff.

Cam Newton wasn't concussed? Yeah, right.

And Andy Dalton's should have to send us all money for ensuring that we'd have to watch the Bills in a playoff game. 

3) Get out of the way, Bob. From ESPN's Jerry Crasnick....

I'm not saying the Reds should trade Billy Hamilton. I'm not saying they shouldn't. What makes potential trades involving Billy so complex and intriguing is that it's hard to determine how valuable he actually is.  

He's great with the glove. Terrible with the bat. Game-changing with his legs. Limited in using them because he can't hit.

I have no idea what that's worth.

But...if the baseball people that Bob Castellini has hired settle of a deal involving billy that they're comfortable with, they should be allowed to pull the trigger, free of any ownership interference. Dick Williams has earned some equity with the moves that he's made that he should be entrusted to do with Billy what he sees fit, even if that means a fan favorite is playing elsewhere.

The Reds ended up where they were post-2013 in part (keywords: "in part") because of emotionally-driven decisions spearheaded by their owner.  

Let's not repeat the mistakes of the past.

Trust your baseball people this go 'round, Bob.

Radio Show: I'm off today, spending the day in Indy where I'll watch professional basketball tonight. Pacers. Bucks. Greek Freak. SK. And the NBA's best arena.  Back tomorrow on ESPN1530. On TV last night if you need a fix

Recommended Link Of The Day: Baseball Therapy: Why The Shift Persists

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Go Dawgs.

Mo Egger

Mo Egger

Mo Egger delivers his unique take on sports on Cincinnati's ESPN 1530! Read more

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