Bearcats Are All Over the NBA Summer League

There are Cincinnati Bearcats all over the NBA Summer League this year in Vegas. With some of the talent that has made its way through the program the past few years, with 8 straight NCAA tournament appearances, it’s awesome that we’re finally starting to see some of Mick Cronin’s recruits have success after college. Jacob Evans III was the first round pick for the Golden State Warriors this past year, and has been playing a bunch of minutes for them in their first few games out west. As a Lakers fan, I was super jealous that he went to the GSW, instead of being nabbed by LA a few picks earlier.

Joining Evans this summer is Gary Clark with the Houston Rockets. I’m not sure if Gary is playing in the Summer League because I’ve seen him in street clothes on the bench. He signed a two-way deal with the Houston Rockets after going undrafted, but I think he can be good fit for them under the right circumstances. Clark’s frontcourt buddy Kyle Washington is also on a team this summer, playing for the Detroit Pistons. I’m not sure that Washington has the chops to make it in the NBA, but I think he definitely could make a nice living if he goes to Europe and plays professionally.

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In Desperate Attempt to Attract OSU Fans, Bengals Choose not to Draft JT Barrett

It’s no secret that Bengals fans are fed up with the organization right now. After five straight years of first-round playoff exits, they’ve failed to make the postseason the past two years. The team seems to be headed in the wrong direction, and without much promise for a quick turnaround. Sprinkle in a handful of on- and off-the-field incidents and you’ve got a level of discontent in the fan base that’s at an all time high. Most feel that the majority of the blame falls with head coach Marvin Lewis, who’s failed to deliver a playoff victory after 15 seasons. For a brief moment this past season, it felt like change was finally on the way when reports surfaced that Marvin did not plan to return next year. That hope was short lived, however. Marvin came out and denied the reports the next day, and Mike Brown offered him a two-year extension after the season ended. For many fans, that was the last straw. Now the team’s leaders are faced with the task of replacing the fans that they’ve driven away. Luckily for them, there’s a massive college fan base just a couple hours up I-71, and they took some pretty obvious steps during the draft to tap into that fan base.

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Chris Mack is Good & Gone

Chris Mack is a good coach.  He took over the Xavier program as it was growing larger and larger and took it to the next level.  Mack now holds the most wins in Xavier history (215).  Xavier has had some great coaches over the past few decades with Pete Gillen, Skip Prosser, Thad Matta and Sean Miller.

Chris Mack was loved by Xavier fans. He grew up in Cincinnati, went to St X (gross), played for Xavier and then coached here.  He is a true Cincinnatian and lives and dies with the Bengals/Reds seasons.  He also loved the Crosstown Shootout and rivalry with Mick Cronin and UC.  Many X fans believed Chris Mack was going to be the long-term coach that did not leave like all of the others because of his ties.  Just last year Mack was rumored to have turned down an interview/offer from OSU and IU to stay at Xavier.

Did Mack make the right decision to leave X and take the job at the University of Louisville?  Is Xavier going to benefit from this move like they have from all of the other coaches leaving?

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Story of the Tournament: Loyola or UMBC?

The Final Four is set. On one side you have two basketball powerhouses in Villanova and Kansas. On the other, a second-rate school with a shitty athletic program that somehow managed to luck their way into the Final Four, and the Loyola Ramblers. (And for those of you keeping score at home, my “Perfect Bracket” turned out to be not even close.) The Ramblers, and their #1 fan Sister Jean, are on an amazing run, becoming just the fourth 11 seed in NCAA tournament history to reach the Final Four. None of the other three managed to make it into the finals, so if Loyola can knock off michigan on Saturday they will be in unprecedented territory. And if that happens, we have a serious question to answer: Who is the bigger story of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, Loyola or UMBC?

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I Wonder If Butch Jones Is Receiving College Credit for His Summer Internship

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SI.com – Former Tennessee coach Butch Jones is joining the Alabama coaching staff, but he won’t be on the field.

Instead, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said he is “an intern, an analyst” after practice Tuesday.

“I guess we could have several names for it, Saban said. “He can’t coach on the field. He can work with us off the field. And today was actually the first time he was cleared by the NCAA. We have these rules and I don’t even know what they’re called, like we can’t hire high school coaches. We can’t hire people that have recruited other players that we’re recruiting and all that. You have to go through a process with the NCAA, and that finally got completed today.”

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When I first read the headline that Butch Jones was going to “intern” at Alabama, I almost pulled a muscle from laughing. Or was that from when I tried to get out of my desk chair too quickly? Either way, a muscle was almost pulled and I’m kinda sore right now. Anywhooo – the titles were a little misleading when news broke on his new gig, but the fact of the matter remains: Butch Jones has turned into a puddle of suck in recent years and this might be as far rock bottom as a coach can go.  Continue reading

UMBC Does the Unthinkable as They Defeat Virginia to Become the First 16-seed to Defeat 1-seed in NCAA Men’s Tournament History

Welp, it finally happened. Something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime has finally been done. A 16-seed has defeated a 1-seed in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Retrievers from University of Maryland, Baltimore County did the unthinkable and defeated the Virginia Cavilers 74-54, despite their superior color scheme.   Continue reading

The Perfect Bracket

UPDATE (3/20/2018):  Many of you have been wondering just how perfect my “Perfect Bracket” turned out to be following the madness of the opening weekend of the tournament.  Turns out the answer is “not very.”  Now I know what you’re thinking:  “Whitty, I trusted you to give me the perfect bracket, and you let me down.”  You’re right.  I’m sorry.  I fell victim to some shitty officiating that I didn’t account for in my simulations.  I also may have applied my analytics at the the wrong time (in retrospect, I probably should have aaced uniform color for the sweet 16).  Again, I’m sorry.  In the words of my good friend Jim Calhoun:

So just how bad was it?  Well, I accurately predicted 3 of the teams in the Sweet 16, so really not too terrible.  That’s almost 19%, which, in terms of batting average, would almost be good enough to hit leadoff for the Reds.  And I still have 2 Elite Eight teams left!  That means that even though I can’t achieve my goal of perfection, I’m sure I’m still in the running for top bracket in then ESPN bracket challenge.  As long as none of the 15.9 million people ahead of me get any more picks right, I may still have a shot.  If UMBC can shock the world, why not Whitty?

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If you missed my original picks, be sure to check them out below:

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