NCAA Bracket 2012 Predictions: Why Big East Teams Will Fail in Big Dance

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 09: Head coach Jim Boeheim of the Syracuse Orange looks on from the sideline against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the semifinals of the Big East men's basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 9, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

According to Joe Lunardi, the Big East will lead all conferences by sending 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament. Despite all of the hype surrounding the Big East, the tournament will be a disappointment for its teams.

It isn't anything new to see a lot of Big East teams make it to the "Big Dance."

Here are the number of teams from the conference that have made it over the last five years:

2007: 6
2008: 8
2009: 7
2010: 8
2011: 10

Over that time, Big East teams have compiled a 56-39 record. That's obviously the most of any major conference, but their winning percentage is actually third behind the Big 12 and ACC.

Last year, the conference really struggled as only two out of the 10 teams that went, Connecticut and Marquette, managed to make the Sweet 16.

2010 was the same story as Syracuse and West Virginia were the only Big East schools in the Sweet 16.

2012 will be more of the same.

There are a multitude of reasons as to why Big East teams have had a hard time over the last few years, but one seems to stand out.

The conference doesn't do itself any favors. The depth in the Big East really makes the regular season one of the toughest in basketball.

And tough doesn't just mean difficulty of games, it also extends to the style of play.

You don't tune in to Big East games expecting to watch a lot of scoring. Instead, you see quite a few defensive games that are won in the post.

These kind of grueling games really wear down the players.

In addition to that, there aren't a lot of games that the teams can afford to lose focus on. You really have to be at your best if you want to pick up a victory.

As a coach you certainly want to have your team to be tested, at times, throughout the season so your players can have experience in high-pressure situations.

But there can be such thing as too much. Sometimes there is just nothing left in the tank after the grind of the Big East schedule.

It can be physically and mentally draining to play 18 games in a conference like the Big East.

Big East teams must feel like they've already gone through the gauntlet by the time they reach the tournament.

Sure the Big East looks great going into the tournament, but you have to wonder if some teams have already played their best basketball in the regular season just to reach the Big Dance.