The Big (L)East
I’m sorry to say it but the Big East Conference’s performance in the NCAA Tournament tells me one thing – the Big East is a good league with no elite teams.
So is it a “great” league? Well, that’s up for debate.
Eleven Big East teams got in to the NCAA’s and now there are only two left. Both of them got in to the Sweet 16 because they played other Big East teams to get there (UConn beat Cincinnati and Marquette defeated Syracuse).
St. Johns, Pitt, ND, Georgetown, Louisville, Villanova, WVU, Syracuse and Cinncinnati are done! Did the league deserve 11 teams? Maybe.
Quite frankly, the Big East had some “good” teams but zero “great” teams. These Big East teams don’t have the necessary tools in the College Hoops Theory of Sinkativity – which is one NBA player and two all-league guys on the same team.
If you’re a Big East fan right now, you’ve got to be disappointed. Because it’s a reality check. Most of the teams in that league just aren’t elite!
Should an NCAA Tournament be the entire basis for judging a team? Yes, because we don’t declare a National Champion based on regular season finishes or 6-game winning streaks in December or February!
Why was Alex Rodriguez hated by Yankee fans prior to 2009? Because he wasn’t clutch and couldn’t hit in the playoffs. Why was Derek Jeter loved by everyone (other than for his looks)? Because he was the exact opposite. It didn’t matter what kind of year Jeter had, when October rolled around, you knew he was going to deliver. A-Rod, meanwhile, won MVP Awards and was the best player in baseball – but wasn’t remembered for the homeruns he hit against the Royals in July but for his 1 for 14 showing in the 2006 ALDS vs. Detroit.
Pitt’s Jamie Dixon is the best regular season coach in America. But you know what? If he doesn’t get to the Final Four sooner or later, he’ll forever been known as a choker come tourney time. He’s the A-Rod of college coaches.
I’m not denying that the Big East was extremely competitive this year. But any conference in America can be competitive and that’s just based on the relative strength of the teams against each other in the league. It’s not comparing them to other leagues.
Again, the Big East had the most teams in the tournament and only sent 2 of them to the Sweet 16. That means that 18% of their teams that made the NCAA’s advanced to the Sweet 16. By comparison, the ACC got 75% of their teams in the Sweet 16 (Duke, UNC, Florida State) and the Mountain West still has 2 of their 3 teams left (67%).
Is the Big East overrated? I don’t think the numbers lie!