Looks Have Been Deceiving


I expected more from the new Big East.

As always, the conference has its power houses in UConn and Villanova, a team that can make a run with West Virginia, and then a couple decent-to-good teams like Pittsburgh and Georgetown.

But this was supposed to be a stronger, scarier Big East. This was the year that nine, even ten teams were supposed to have legitimate shots at making the NCAA tournament.

In reality, the conference will get no more than six bids, making them fairly ordinary. In reality, this whole super conference thing has been vastly overrated.

Outside of the top five teams in the league, Marquette is the only school deserving of a shot in the NCAA’s. Even they haven’t been overly spectacular. Yes, they beat Connecticut, but they also lost to Winthrop in a tournament they were hosting. Nevertheless, they’ll play in March because they will likely win 20 games and ten in the Big East.

Mediocrity sets in following that group. Of the next three teams in terms of record (Seton Hall, Cincinnati, and Syracuse, only the Hall has a chance to finish over .500 in the conference. If you only win half of your league games, you don’t deserve to go dancing.

I think Seton Hall is the only one in that group that even sits on the bubble, and they might have to win their final game (tonight at Pitt) and win at least one conference tournament game to avoid the NIT. Cincinnati and Syracuse are going to have to at least make the Big East finals if they expect to qualify.

That leaves six teams who are just trying to make it to Madison Square Garden, including an extremely disappointing Louisville team.

People get carried a way with the “any team can beat any team on any given night in this league” saying. That happens everywhere. The league shapes up like this: A couple of very good teams, a handful of decent teams, a bubble team, and about six NIT teams. It is what it is, nothing more, I promise.

In size the Big East may have grown. In depth, it’s just the same old conference.


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