No. 13 Cincinnati continues to be as they call it the "Hottest College In America" after last nights win over No. 12 Louisville. UC now have won 13 straight and improved their record to 20-2; 9-0 in the American Athletic Conference. To many people this win could be a statement to the nation, but that's not the case to coach Mick Cronin.
"You know I live day-to-day, but that's for other people to determine," said Cronin. "We don't care what other people think about us, the biggest thing I teach in my program is we don't let other people define us. You have to ignore criticism and deflect praise."
Cronin was asked how big of a win this was for his team, "It was a good win," Cronin stated. "We have won 13 in a row now and when you beat the second place team in your conference you have to be happy with that. Any road win in the conference against a ranked team is always a good win, but excepted to win that's why we got in the bus last night."
Early on in the week the Bearcats were headed into last nights game uncertain about the availability of Justin Jackson. But it turned out the guy who has labeled himself "The Machine" would not miss this game. Cronin talked about how important having Jackson for this game was.
"We're not going to beat a team like Louisville on the road without Justin Jackson," Cronin explained. "Justin is the most valuable defensive player in the country, no one player is more valuable to a team's defense than he is to ours, cause of his ability to block shots, switch screens, and do all the things he does."
In the second half UC had a lead of 15 points, but would see that lead drop to 3 when Louisville went on a 14-0 run. Louisville ended up taking the lead at 64-61 and that's when Cronin decided to put the ball in senior Sean Kilpatrick hands.
"I knew when we had the lead how the game was going to pan out," Cronin said. "But you know he (Kilpatrick) did well, and people don't think that he is an NBA player but I don't understand how they could think that."
Cronin spoke on the value of senior leadership on this team, "They are the reason we have won 13 in a row," Cronin explained. "That's why we won tonight. We win with tremendous leadership and team play. And those guys got some talent."
On what this game means short term and long term for this team?
"Our season, and this is with all due respect to Louisville, we excepted to win and we aren't hanging any banners," said Cronin. "We played in the Big East for the last seven years and in our world you play three of these games in an eight day span that's what we're are use to. I'm sure for you guys people will show us more respect now but in our world if we lose Sunday at noon against South Florida it'll go right out the window and it's my job to continue to keep that in perspective."