Halfway through the Big East season, No. 17 Cincinnati is in solid shape. The Bearcats have their point guard closer to full strength, and they're only a game out of first place.
The best indicator of how well things are going: Coach Mick Cronin doesn't want them thinking about it.
The Bearcats (18-4, 6-3) are tied for third at the midpoint of league play, trailing No. 9 Syracuse (18-3, 6-2) and No. 24 Marquette (15-5, 6-2). They've lost at Syracuse and beaten Marquette at home.
Cincinnati set a league title as one of its goals. The Bearcats are in position to contend for it, though they're no longer interested in talking about it.
''At the end of the year, if we're fighting for that, we'll worry about that then,'' point guard Cashmere Wright said on Monday before practice. ''Right now, we can't.''
Essentially, the Bearcats learned that lesson the hard way.
They won their first 12 games and moved up to No. 8 in the poll last December, their highest ranking in nine years. A 55-...