Like UConn, Cincinnati Will Have To Schedule Up, And Get Back To The Garden

by Categorized: Big East, UConn men's basketball

NEW YORK – I caught up with Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin outside the Bearcats locker room, to ask him how he planned to change his approach to scheduling now that the “old” Big East is no more, and Cincinnati, like UConn, may have to make up schedule-strength outside conference play.

“We’ve already dissected the RPI,” Cronin said. “And if you add up the RPI of the current Big East, this league, against another mock of the league we’re in next year, the RPI’s are very similar. Not quite as good … but not that far off.

“… So I am probably going to schedule one more [power conference] nonleague game. We will have to be more conscious of the nonleague schedule.  I remember starting out with coach [Bob] Huggins in Conference USA, you’ve got to be strategic, got to analyze it because it’s all about quality wins. I think the way committees look at it, you have a choice in who you play nonleague. If you play in a league that’s not dominant, it’s harder. Memphis is a good example. People have them as an 8-9 [tournament seed] right now, and they went undefeated [16-0] in that league. Our RPI will be better than Conference USA, you won’ have to have Murder’s Row next year, we’ll still have Louisville, the question will be two years from now.”

As to the loss of Madison Square Garden as an annual league tournament stage, Cincinnati, like UConn, will have concerns about staying visible in New York.

“I’ve already worked hard to get us in an event at the Garden next year,” Cronin said, “and we will want to do that every year. We’re very conscious of that, and it’s important to recruiting on the East Coast.”

UConn, of coursem is also putting together a stronger nonconference schedule and will play in Madison Square Garden in the 2K Sports Classic in November.



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9 thoughts on “Like UConn, Cincinnati Will Have To Schedule Up, And Get Back To The Garden

  1. Jim

    Any thoughts on having the America 12 tournament (or whatever it will be called) at the Boston Garden? Great neutral site-lots of tradition and a ton of Celtics championship banners-not quite Madison Square Garden but close.

    1. Steve

      I would find it hard to believe they would have their tournament 80 miles north of their north most member. If anything, XL or Barclays, but I see it going more Midwest to be more centrally located to all members.

  2. Hip Hop Hood

    Barclay already is locked in with a better conference.

    Boston Garden would be empty for whatever this new conference is called.

    Maybe some high school gym would host it.

    1. Steve

      Once Temple, Xavier, and Butler leave it will be far from a better conference, but I know it’s just you being negative as usual.

    2. BearJWS

      The Atlantic 10 Conference is at Barclay’s. The Atlantic 10 is hardly a better league than the Big East/A12. The best teams of the Atlantic 10 are leaving with Temple, Bulter & VCU. Saint Louis is rumored to be leaving too.

  3. KTD

    Checking in from MSG and the Big East Tourament. It’s crazy here and the fans are awesome. Too bad you coldn’t join us.

  4. Jay

    Once BE is void of the leaving teams there will be a lot of empty seat at the garden. Uconn, Syracuse were the metro Draws. Some for St Johns. Without these large draws the garden will be half empty.

    1. Limbo

      We’re still in the conference. Syracuse will on to a bigger and better place but not us.

  5. AnotherHuskiesVictory

    I think Philly would be an awesome permanent site for a tourney–close enough for Uconn/Cincy fans to get to, Temple’s right there. I think that gives you the best shot at recreating the MSG/BE vibe. That said, I wouldn’t mind the first two years in Hartford and Cincy, throwing a bone to those two schools. In particular I think Hartford would draw well next year what with Uconn not in this year’s tourney.

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