Orange Look To Make Weekend Bear-able

Admit it, you're looking ahead right now, aren't you?  I can see it in your eyes.  You're not even paying attention anymore.  You're so concerned with Villanova that you forget SU still has a ways to go before the February 27th showdown.  There's five games in-between now and then, including two home games. 

Hopefully, the team isn't as daydreamy as you are cause they're work to be done.

The Cincinnati Bearcats (14-9) host the Orange this Sunday in a pre-Super Bowl showdown.  Cincy is coming off a a beatdown at the hands of Notre Dame and is struggling to stay afloat.  You might even say they're the consummate Bubble team:

Very "Blah" numbers right now. 'Nati might be the ultimate bubble team since it's hard to make a strong case for them to be in or out. Wins over UConn, Providence and Vanderbilt might be just enough to get them in.

With Wes Johnson somewhat questionable, the Orange will need to develop a plan of attack that doesn't focus on him.  CuseOrange says expect some balance out of the offense for a change:

Unlike the Providence game on Tuesday, SU’s gameplan should have a greater balance of the inside and outside attack, as the Bearcats’ front line is more physical than the vastly overmatched Friars lineup. For the outside game, Andy Rautins is mired in one of his patented mini-slumps, having averaged only around 7 points per game over his last four, thanks largely to a 6-26 drought from three while playing all but a few minutes of each game. He’s kept active on defense, so he hasn’t been that inefficient, but any time is a good time for the long range shots to start hitting again.

As far as SU fans are concerned, records be damned.It's a road game in the Big East which means SU should expect a tough game:

Cincinnati is a tough team. It’s 11-1 at home on the year, and has a solid trio of Lance Stephenson, Yancy Gates and Deonta Vaughn. It will be interesting to see how they attack Syracuse. Stephenson could be a matchup problem for Rautins, but not for Johnson. It should be a tight ballgame.

Kyle at TheNewhouse.com thinks the Orange have a tough game ahead but should prevail as they usually do:

Syracuse hits the toughest part of its 2009-10 schedule when Connecticut comes to the Dome on Wednesday, but this Sunday sees a trip to Ohio. The Cincinnati Bearcats (14-8, 5-5 Big East) are led by freshman sensation Lance Stephenson and have notable wins over Maryland, Connecticut and Notre Dame (plus overtime losses to Gonzaga and Xavier), but at 71 points per game will be unable to out-score SU (Syracuse 79, Cincinnati 70).

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