It's merely Feb. 5 (by which we mean to say, holy crap, it's already Feb. 5? Where did January go?), which in college basketball means it's a bit too early to start freaking out over Bracketology, the Bubble, RPI, and all of the rest of the awesome and tedious things that come along with what is arguably sports' most exciting contest, the NCAA Tournament.
It's a little too early for most teams to be worrying about the bubble. Anything can happen, right? Sure. Sort of. Unless you're Notre Dame, in which case you're pretty much screwed.
Last night, ND lost to Cincinnati at Cincinnati. That loss itself wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't the Irish's sixth in a row. Previously, ND lost to Louisville, Syracuse, Connecticut, Marquette, and Pittsburgh. Those are all very understandable, if unfortunate losses; all of those teams are among the best in the country, and while a better team would have stolen one or two from that brutal stretch, ND's failure to do is forgiveable. Just recover with a few easy wins over Big East doormats and everything is peachy, right?
That was the plan last night. The plan didn't go so well: Notre Dame allowed Cincinnati 93 points in a regulation basketball game, mostly thanks to a high foul rate, and the Bearcats handed the Irish their sixth loss in a row. That puts Notre Dame at 12-9, 3-7 in the Big East and -- to be perfectly honest -- on the outside of the NCAA Tournament picture. The Big East was supposed to "beat itself up" this year. Instead, everyone is beating Notre Dame.
Eamonn Brennan is a writer, editor and blogger hunkered down in Lincoln Park. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, FanHouse, MOUTHPIECE Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com.