Cincinnati Moves Past Brawl to Show Real Fight

Cincinnati Moves Past Brawl to Show Real Fight

Yancy Gates was back at the podium, and when the light hit just right it sure looked as if tears were leaking from the corners of his eyes.

Mick Cronin was up there, too, only this time, rather than delivering a powerful statement about how his players had failed to conduct themselves like men, he glowed with pride.

It doesn’t seem possible that here is the same coach, the same players and the same university that only in December had been thick in the middle of one of the most shameful full-on brawls in some time. The fallout from it decimated a program still trying to wipe off the stench from bad acts years ago, and after suspending four players it wouldn’t have been unusual if everyone involved spent the ensuing months dressed in black hoodies, praying they weren’t recognized.

Instead, and in an occurrence highly unanticipated, the Cincinnati Bearcats have for the first time advanced to the Big East tournament championship game. On Saturday they’ll play Louisville, and it seems a fine time to nod again at Cronin and everyone at UC for taking that horrendous act and mending it by doing the right thing.

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