In the first of what looks to be many match-up games in the future, the University of Cincinnati defeated former longtime head coach Bob Huggins 62-39 in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Teacher vs. Pupil was the way some looked at this game prior to tip. But while many felt Huggins had the team to knock off his former school, it was the play of Cronin's team that became the story in Part One of Cronin vs. Huggins.
Bob Huggins will forever be tied to the University of Cincinnati basketball program and deservingly so. After being the programs head coach from 1989-2005, Huggins is considered one of the top coaches in all of college basketball.
With some fans still upset about Huggins departure a couple of years previous, this game had all the makings for television and ESPN2 was there to show the game pitting mentor (Huggins) against one of his former students in Bearcats head coach Mick Cronin.
While Huggins would take the Mountaineers to the NCAA Sweet 16, this night belonged to the Bearcats and Cronin as the underdog Bearcats knocked off West Virginia.
While the men's basketball program had a few nice wins during the 2008 season this was the game many had marked on their calendars waiting for it to happen.
No matter how you broke down the game Cronin and his charges took it to Huggins and his Mountaineers.
As a team the Bearcats shot almost 48% from the field (45% from 3) and pulled down 47 rebounds as compared to 26 for West Virginia.
Deonta Vaughn paced the team with 18 points and John Williamson posted 11 on the night.
But the story of the game was the poor shooting by Huggins team as they hit only 20% of their shots from the field including 4.5% from behind the 3-point stripe.
While the season didn't go the way Cronin or Bearcat fans had hoped for this was one of the bright spots and earned Bearcat Insiders #6 story for 2008.
Don't be surprised if this match-up makes our 2009 top stories as Huggins makes his first appearance at Fifth Third Arena.
Looking Back At The Top 10 Stories 2008 - #6
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