Saturday, March 20, 2010

Is the Big East becoming the “Big Easy?”

At the beginning of the tournament there was ubiquitous talk of the Big East returning to their ‘hayday’ of the 80’s when they had that incredible run and represented three of the final four teams. The Teens were supposed to begin that way as well but something happened on the way to Indy, half of the eight Big East teams lost, all were higher seeds, and one needed OT to take out a 15 seed. So that begs the question, is there even more parity than we knew existed or was the Big East a bunch of hot air? Well, we’ll have to finish out the weekend to get the answer to the first part of the question to see what percentage of the sweet sixteen the comprises, being that they utilized 6.23% of all of the invitations handed out. Now were not picking on the BE but if they weren’t tooting their own horn so many times thoughout the year they wouldn’t face so much scrutiny. But for all of the “smac” they laid on the Pac (10) to go 0 and Deuce is a mint flavored Nike, so fans of the “Big Easy” I hope you get your swagger back over the next two days. Here is the preview for Saturday.
(10) Saint Mary's vs. (2) Villanova – Speaking of the Big East, one of the main culprits of the poor showing was the afore mentioned Wildcats. Temporary suspensions, late game survival is hardly indicative of a top seed. However we’ve seen this from Nova’ before, mainly last year when American U pushed them to the limit then they came out and easily handled UCLA. So will this be the same against another So Cal school? We think so, but it will be close. Take Villanova.

(9) Wake Forest vs. (1) Kentucky – This is one of the games we wanted to see and are very curious how the kids from UK will do when they face a little adversity like finding themselves trailing in a game with 10 minutes to go. It’s a nice thought for Wake but they do have the guard play to stay in this one, just the same it’s about brackets and we like the Cats.

(7) BYU vs. (2) Kansas St. – Man, would this be an upset for the ages, but keep in mind the age and maturity of BYU, and the poise they’ll play with. But they’ll need to shoot their normal percentage from beyond the arch and neutralize the Wildcats’ athletic advantage. Much easier said than done, and we like the Purple Hawks in this one.

(13) Murray State vs. (5) Butler – I’m not sure if a 5-seed can be a Cinderella but if there was ever a top 20 team that will surprise people for making it up four spots to the Sweet 16, it’s Butler. This is a game many had in their brackets and should be one of the best games to watch on Saturday. That said, we do like the Bulldogs to gouge out a win.

(11) Washington vs. (3) New Mexico – No disrespect to the Lobos but shouldn’t these seeds be reversed. You can go back and check prior post if you like but we have been screaming that the Pac-10 was underrated and just because UCL A is home for the Spring doesn’t mean they don’t have some teams that can do some damage. Kudos to New Mexico for a great season and it may come down to the last possession but we like UW.

(14) Ohio vs. (6) Tennessee – Ok, I’m done pickin’ on the Big East but GTown got WORKED by these guys and I’m not sure if they used up all of their ammo in that game but if they come out with the same intensity as they did against the Hoyas then the Orange are in for a long day. However when all of the ether wears off you’ll see that it’s just a school that went 7-9 in a very easy league. All the same there’s something about em’ that I can’t figure and I think this is your first upset of the day. Welcome Ohio to the sweet 16.

(11) Old Dominion vs. (3) Baylor – Another good game that’s tough to call. OD has played well all year and rolled into the dance with some Mo’, while Baylor really struggled in their opener. Baring injuries this looks like another last possession game and in that event we’ll look for the upset with Old Dominion.

(9) Northern Iowa vs. (1) Kansas – Ok, no need to stray to far from reality by dreaming up scenarios on how NI could do this because it can’t be done. Jayhawks move on to the sweetness that is 16, when things really start getting tough.

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