CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When the final buzzer sounded in the Civic Center on Saturday, one couldn't do much except check the scoreboard - which reflected a 72-56 Cincinnati win over Marshall - and shrug.
The game went down as expected. Marshall went down as expected.
All because Marshall's season hasn't gone as expected.
After the No. 11 Bearcats pressed the Thundering Herd like a waffle iron, forcing 20 turnovers, few could ignore what's happened to MU - including Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin.
"Before the season, we expected Kareem Canty at the [point guard position] and DeAndre Kane at the [shooting guard position]," Cronin said. "I'm sure they'll soldier on, but we expected a different team."
The highly regarded Canty, you may know, was ruled academically ineligible. Kane, Marshall's leading scorer, is out with an injured right hand.
MU coach Tom Herrion gave a short, succinct update of Kane after the game.
"He's hurt. He's out. He's out indefinitely," Herrion said.
That hurts. Not only is Kane one of Marshall's best scorers, he's the closest the school has to a bona fide point guard sans Canty.
You could see the way it hurt Marshall on Saturday. You could see the way it hurt shooting guard D.D. Scarver.
The junior had 20 points, mainly because of 5-for-7 shooting beyond the 3-point arc. He added four rebounds and had but one turnover.
But the junior college transfer seemed particularly hurt and uncomfortable with the loss.
"Tough loss," Scarver said. "We played bad. I played bad. Just a tough loss, man. I made shots, but I need to rebound more and play better defense."
Especially against a fine team like Cincinnati. After the game, former Charleston High and UC standout Mike Jones met up with Cronin.
"We were a little sloppy early," Cronin told Jones, "but this is our style."
It is a full-court, pressing, trapping style that has buoyed the Bearcats, now 10-0, to the verge of a Top 10 ranking.
"We play 10 guys," Cronin said. "Whether DeAndre Kane would have played or not, we've got 10 guys - really 11 [to play meaningful minutes]. That's our comfort zone."
Marshall, meanwhile, is not in its comfort zone. After losing to West Virginia, it barely got past Coppin State (69-63) before wilting to Cincinnati's pressure in the second half Saturday before an announced crowd of 5,432.