Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Big Beast, uh, I mean East

Yes, much to the dismay of Dickie V, the ACC is not the cream of the crop this season in college basketball. That honor goes to the Big East. The Big East's combination of top tier teams and ridiculous depth makes the conference an absolute monster.

Sure, there are a lot of great teams that play in the other conferences. The ACC has Duke and North Carolina. Both are top 5 teams and North Carolina looks virtually unbeatable. The Big 12 boasts two top 10 teams, Texas and Oklahoma, but beyond that it's pretty slim pickings, with only Kansas even flirting with the top 25. Next week we will get to see a nice matchup between the conferences when Texas and Villanova get together. Also, let's not forget that Texas has already lost to a Big East team, Notre Dame. The Big 10 has Michigan St., Purdue, and Wisconsin. I don't think that those teams are scaring anyone at this point, especially after Michigan State's dismantling at the hands of UNC last night. The SEC has Florida and Tennessee, the Pac 10 has UCLA and Arizona St. Good, not great.

And that brings me to the Big East. Two top 5 teams (UConn and Pitt), another top 10 (Notre Dame), and four more top 25: Louisville(11), Villanova(16), Georgetown(18), and Syracuse(20). That's seven top 25 teams, and another, Marquette, who is on the cusp on the top 25, and are actually ranked in the AP poll, but I used the ESPN poll for this post. Cincinnati, DePaul, Seton Hall, and St. John's all sit with one loss.

When the Big East expanded to 16 teams a few years back, everyone knew that the conference would be increasingly strong and deep, but not like this. This conference could have upwards of 10 teams that have a legitimate shot at the Big Dance come tourney time. 10. From one conference. That's pretty impressive.

As the conference schedule approaches, I can only imagine what the Big East coaches must be thinking as they look at the monstrous schedules they have looming. However, I think that any fear or concern will belong to the coaches in other conferences come March. After 2-3 months of playing that type of competition night in and night out, there should be some battle-tested teams that emerge from this conference who are prepared to make deep runs in the tournament.


  1. that may or may not be true, either way they are ranked #7 and did beat texas...and at least I gave Carolina some love.

  2. i'm not arguing with the Big East, in fact I have a Jay Wright post coming up, but Notre Dame sucks. That's all I'm saying. The Big East is brutal. But ND sucks. Huge frauds. Mark that down.