College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, February 23, 2012
There's no telling just how big Cincinnati's, 60-56, win over #17 Louisville was Thursday night. That will be determined in about two weeks, when the NCAA tournament selection committee gets down to seeding the 68 teams in the tourney.
Suffice it to say that the win was as huge as the game played by junior guard Cashmere Wright, who scored a game high 22 points and led both teams in assists with five dimes. Wright hit just eight of 19 shots, but was efficiently 6-for-13 from beyond the arc. He also helped out on the boards in his 32 minutes of floor time, grabbing five rebounds.
The Bearcats improved to a respectable 20-8 and 10-5 in the Big East, which, remarkably, is good for only sixth place in the 16-team conference. Still, since the Big East will likely send eight or nine teams to the big dance, the win by Cincy was enormously important, not only because it was at home, but also because it came against a team, Louisville, which has pretty much assured themselves of a #4 or 5 seeding.
Where Cincinnati will be seeded will depend not only on this win, but also on how well they perform in their remaining game against South Florida, Marquette and Villanova, and in the Big East tourney.
NOTABLE: The #5 Duke Blue Devils are at it again, surprising the rest of the college hoops world by winning key games late in February, their latest a 74-66 road win over Florida State that avenged an earlier loss and has put coach K's kids on a path to a possible #1 seed in the NCAAs. Guards Andre dawkins and Austin Rivers combined for 42 of Duke's points, mostly from 3-point range. Dawkins was 6-for-9 from outside the arc and Rivers 4-for-8 as Duke nailed 13 treys against the Seminoles.
Duke is now tied with Florida State at 10-2 in conference play, both teams 1/2 game behind 11-2 North Carolina. Duke hosts the Tar Heels in their regular season finale on Saturday, March 3, a game likely will produce the AVV regular season champion.