Cincinnati Basketball: Bearcats State Their Case

Danny BaylissCorrespondent IJanuary 20, 2008

It took 18 games—nine losses and nine wins—for Mick Cronin and his UC Bearcats to show everyone that they're not the same Big East cellar-dwellers of a year ago.

Yesterday, the Bearcats knocked off the 16th-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers 62-59 at the Shoemaker Center in Cincinnati.

Bearcat shooting guard Deonta Vaughn led the 'Cats with 14, and Pitt product Sam Young had a game-high 24 points.

The Cats, despite early season losses to non-conference foes, have already doubled their Big East conference wins from last year. They have put up positive numbers against Villanova, Louisville, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh. They have lost close battles with former C-USA rival Memphis, and Crosstown-Shootout rival Xavier.

Nevertheless, Mick Cronin and UC fans have to be happy with what they've seen, and are already looking towards the future. The Bearcats have gotten good minutes out of Anthony McClain, Rashard Bishop, and others. Vaughn looks to up his game one more step.

Along with those factors and an excellent recruiting class, the Bearcats look to finally be settling into the Big East.