Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Big East Myth Continues

This is the time of year where we all get a reminder of something: the Big East is all hype, all talk and no substance.

Don't believe me? Rick Bozich from the Courier-Journal provides us with the numbers
1. ACC: 4-1, 80%, One win against a higher seed, no losses to a lower seed.
2. Big Ten: 6-2, 75%, One win against a higher seed, no losses to a lower seed.
3. Pac-10: 3-2, 60%
4. SEC: 4-3, 57%, One loss against a lower seeded team (5 Vandy def. by 12 Richmond)
5. Big East: 8-7, 53%, One win against a higher seeded team, three losses to lower seeded teams (4 Louisvile def. by 13 Morehead State, 1 Pitt def. by 8 Butler, 6 Georgetown def. by 11 VCU)
6. Big 12: 3-3, 50%, One loss against a lower seeded team

Bozich holds back any comments about the Big East frauds because I am sure that if he says anything negative that Tom Jurich will be after his job. But nothing hides the fact that three Big East teams lost to "inferior opponents". More than any other conference.

As Sir Charles Barkely has pointed out all weekend long, the Big East is nothing more than media hype and east coast reporting bias. The numbers do not justify the committee selecting 11 Big East teams into the round of 64. The Big East is getting it's butt whooped by lower seeded teams left and right.

Right now the Big East will get at least two teams into the Sweet 16 by virtue of the fact that UConn just beat Cincy last night and the winner between Syracuse and Marquette will advance. Other than Notre Dame, no other Big East Teams will have a chance to play next weekend.

The simple fact that that we had to watch 4 Big East teams play each other on the first weekend of play is absurd. We all got a steady diet of that for 2 full months and more during the regular season. The tournament is about testing one's mettle against opponents from around the country that you may never face. It's the magic of Michigan vs. Duke again, or Kentucky playing West Virginia in another bruising showdown, or Butler upsetting a "power" team in Pitt, that keeps March Madness the greatest sporting event in America. Not watching Big East teams play each other over and over again. We have seen that movie already.

It's kind of like how we all get sick of ESPN driving the rivalry of Duke and North Carolina into our heads for 2 and sometimes 3 times in a season or the Yankees vs. the Red Sox during the marathon baseball season.

Now, if teams from the same conference play each other during later rounds then that's ok. They have earned the right to do so. But having conference teams playing each other in the first weekend is boring and ludicrous.

So go ahead Big East fans.. Pat yourselves on the back for fooling everybody again into thinking you were something great when you aren't. I am tired of everyone acting like the Big East is the end all, be all of college basketball. It's not. It's a good conference just like the SEC, the ACC, the Big 10 and the rest, but it's not great.

The Big East is not to college basketball what the SEC is to college football. Not one championship since 2003 proves that. Now, if a Big East team wins it all this year then that changes some things. But it does not justify 11 teams in the tournament. Nothing this overrated conference has done in the first weekend does.

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