Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Beginning of a Rivalry? UC - WVU preview

I spent the last couple days trying to come up with a good way to approach the Huggs vs. UC angle of the game tonight. I've seen what everyone else is saying and wanted to come at it differently. The Huggins Part of this is important Im not disputing that. What I am saying is that it is only one piece of what will make this game the beginning of a big time rivalry for years to come.

First the easy ones.

West Virginia is a neighboring state. If you've ever taken route 32 east across Ohio you know that there is nothing but small towns between Cincinnati and the State line. They are in the same conference. I know, I know thats kind of a lame one but what better way to start a rivalry than being forced to play each other every year.

Now on to Mick.

There is no shortage of Mountaineer fans who have a genuine dislike of Mick Cronin. Last years loss to UC might have kept them out of the Tournament. Micks Antics during that game had to be the most(read only) memorable moments of the conference season. Who can forget his jumping, cussing, and running on to the court as time expired. And that was AFTER he'd been T'd up earlier in the game.

The Recruiting trail.

Its no secret that both coaches like the same type of players. Tough Defensive minded guys who play HARD. Its also no secret that Bob likes to recruit in the same places he did while at UC. If he can get guys from Cincy to follow him to Kansas St. He can get them to Morgantown. Mick hangs his hat on recruiting though and was the man behind some of the best players at UC during Huggins tenure. It will b interesting to see how many guys end up with both schools on their short list.

And Finally the Huggins connection.

Bob Huggins didn't exactly leave town on a parade float. Though he wont admit it I would guess that he cant wait to stick it to the powers that be at UC namely Nancy Zimpher. And lets not forget that when Mick left to go work for Rick Pitino, Huggins took it personally and they weren't speaking for a long time.

There you have it folks. My take on what should be a great rivalry for years to come. Oh yeah I almost forgot. Tonight I think the Mountaineers will win it in a close game. The Road is a tough place to play in the Big East.


Deck said...

The road is a tough place? It has been an almost impossible place for Mick Cronin in his two years at the helm. Good luck.

Dave said...

Wow, a few wins and all of a sudden Xaviers less than stellar road record is forgotten?

Deck said...

Nice win last night. #12 in the RPI, #15 in the polls says it all brother. I can revisit all the road/neutral wins if you like: IU, Kent State, Auburn, Kansas State, GW and UMASS. Four of those teams are in the top 40 of the RPI. And the mighty cats beat the bloated one last night, again great for them. On the bright side if UC keeps winning they may be .500 and crack the top 100 in the RPI. In other words you may be beginning a new rivalry but X is the one that matters.