Welcome back to part two of our special Big East Tournament edition of Bulls Recon. (It's special because we didn't expect to do another one of these.) This time we have Matt from our esteemed SBN sister site Down The Drive to help out with part two. In this edition, we talked about the leap of Yancy Gates, how surprised he was to see us win, and what his keys to the game are.
1. Be honest, you didn't expect to see us today.
No. Not in the slightest. I was quite frankly dreading a matchup with Nova, even a struggling and slumping edition of the Wildcats. That being said I am happy to see the Bulls on the line on the Big East bracket.
2. Is Yancy Gates finally getting his act together?
Yes. Finally. Like most card carrying members of Bearcat Nation I was ready to write of the mercurial big man after his petulant run of form against Pitt, DePaul and Saint Johns. But the benching really seemed to light a fire under his ass. He has always had this kind of potential. And when he wants to play hard he is an absolute force inside in a league that is by and large bereft of quality interior big men. He absolutely dominated Xavier in the Crosstown Blowout earlier this year with 22 and 16, but there were games earlier in Big East play where he completely disappeared.
3. What do you think will be the key for the game tonight?
If USF wins on the offensive glass their probability of winning this game will be much, much higher. The problem is that UC is a great defensive rebounding team and though the Bulls are good in this respect. In fact you guys out rebounded UC in the last game 30 to 24. So they have to do that, Caesar Augustus Gilchrist obviously needs to have a big game. But the basic fact of the matter is that UC is just a better team than the Bulls, and by quite a large margin. When that is the case the three point shot is the great equalizer. Last night USF shot way above their heads. I don't watch a ton of USF game but I am guessing the near 40 per cent shooting from down town is an outlier, one that needs to be repeated for USF to have a chance. If this team regresses to the mean shooting the three the odds go way down.
4. Finally, what do you think the final score will be?
The last two predictions I have made were right and they were both 65-60. So I will go with it again 65-60 Bearcats.
Thanks to Matt for helping out with this. We were doing these at 1am to get them together at the last moment, and he clearly didn't have to do this for us. Head over to DtD
to see my answers to his questions, and follow Matt on Twitter here