Oh No…the Big East isn’t that Good?

 

The always hyped Big East

If you didn’t hear, the Big East got 11 teams into the NCAA tournament this year. Yes 11 teams, and they all deserved to get there based on their resumes in comparison to others. Only problem is, maybe they weren’t that great.

I said a few weeks ago that I thought the Big East wasn’t everything it was cracked up to be. This year the conference had a bunch of decent to good teams, but none that were great. The Big East also had the benefit of the teams at the bottom of the conference. Teams like Seton Hall, Rutgers, South Florida, DePaul and Providence all stunk out loud this year and were easy punching bags for the rest of the Big East. All 11 teams finished 9-9 or better, and that was a big help from those bottom teams, who still managed a few wins anyway.

Now comes the biggest stage of all, the NCAA tournament. Last year the Big East Flopped. This year its all happened again.

We are now through the first weekend of the tournament and we are down to 16 teams. Of the top 24 seed in the tournament, the Big East had nine. Of those nine, only one remains standing.

We have two Big East teams left, 4 lost in the first round, 3 by big upset…and five more this round.

In fact the only two Big East teams remaining, beat fellow Big East teams in the second round. So in all fairness, if the selection committee had not done so badly in setting up the matchups, its very possible that there could be none left.

The overall record of the Big East in the tournament is now 9-9.

4 of those wins came against 14, 15 or 16 seeds too.

Awful.

Maybe we should start looking at what we’ve said throughout the year.

Everyone said the ACC sucked all year, and of course they are the conference with the most Sweet 16 bids.

I’m not going to tell you the ACC was better than the Big East this year, but this proves the difference between conference like the Big East, Big Ten and the ACC wasn’t very big. Teams in the ACC that were left out of the tournament were decent teams that suffered through adversity like injuries this year. Virginia Tech, BC, Miami, Virginia and Maryland all were capable of playing at a high level but suffered from bad luck and injuries all year. Then you NC State and Georgia Tech who had as much talent as anyone from the ACC but were coached by two clowns.

I expect next year the ACC will step up and look a lot better, esspecially when NC State and Georgia Tech hire real coaches.

The Big East will get the hype again, but maybe this time we’ll learn to keep an open mind. Teams like Villanova and Georgetown looked horrible down the stretch and possibly didn’t belong in the tournament afterall, especially Nova.

Ok, so lets look at the teams who did make it to the Sweet 16.

ACC (3), (7-1) – Duke, North Carolina, Florida State

SEC (2), (4-3)- Kentucky, Florida

Big East (2), (9-9) – Marquette, UConn

Big Ten (2), (4-5) – Ohio State, Wisconsin

Mountain West (2), (4-1) – BYU, San Diego State

Big 12 (1), (4-4) – Kansas

Colonial (1), (4-2) – VCU

A10 (1), (3-2) – Richmond

Pac Ten (1), (4-3) – Arizona

Horizon (1), (2-0) – Butler

Ok, lets go ahead and predict the Elite Eight now…

Ohio State over Kentucky

UNC over Marquette

Duke over Arizona

UConn over San Diego State

Kansas over Richmond

Florida State over VCU (damn this one’s a tough call)

Wisconsin over Butler (I do believe this is a good matchup for Butler, but I just don’t trust them playing that well again, they aren’t nearly as good as the team from last year)

Florida over BYU (BYU could take this, but it’ll take a very big game from Jimmer like last year in the tournament)

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