Big East Basketball: Who's Dancing in March?
This 2009-2010 season has been one of the most backward, upside-down slate of games in quite a long time. North Carolina is just trying to stay above .500 and undisputed No. 1 Kansas almost lost to Cornell. Well, as usual, the Big East has not been spared from the mayhem.
However, lets take a look at who might be going to the big dance.
We know that Villanova, Syracuse, Georgetown and West Virginia all are locks. But who else from this eight-bid league will find themselves dancing?
Let's take a look at the tourney profile of each of the remaining teams.
Pittsburgh : 80 percent chance
Quality Wins: Syracuse, Connecticut, Louisville
Bad Losses: Indiana, Seton Hall
Along with a really easy non-conference schedule, Pitt has a fairly easy schedule remaining in the Big East, and will probably be in fourth place when the teams trek to Madison Square Garden. A win or loss there would factor into their seeding for the tournament.
Louisville : 60 percent
Quality Wins: Connecticut, Cincinnati
Bad Losses: Charlotte, West Carolina, Seton Hall
Louisville sometimes shows potential to be a good team; they nearly beat both Pittsburgh and West Virginia on the road. But then they leave you scratching your head with home losses to Charlotte and West Carolina
Notre Dame : 50 percent
Quality Wins: West Virginia, Cincinnati
Bad Losses: Loyola Marymount, Rutgers
Even just seeing losses like LMU or Rutgers on a schedule might inspire bracket-makers to look the other way. They need a good end to their season.
Marquette : 40 percent
Quality Wins: Georgetown, Providence (twice)
Bad Losses: DePaul, North Carolina State
Marquette has remained close in most of their big games: losing to Villanova twice (both by two points), a one point loss to West Virginia, a five point loss to Syracuse, and a one point loss to DePaul! They need to put that behind them and finish their season strong, and maybe get one or two wins in the Big East tournament.
Cincinn ati : 37 percent
Quality Wins: Vanderbilt, Maryland, Notre Dame
Bad Losses: UAB, Seton Hall, St. Johns
This team had a great start, almost winning the Maui Invitational. However, two tough losses to Gonzaga and Xavier in overtime and a tough schedule remaining in the rest of the year may be bad news for Cincy.
Connecticu t : 32 percent
Quality Wins: Texas, Harvard, Notre Dame
Bad Losses: Michigan, Providence
With the loss of their coach and a bad road record (0-6), they don't look like the normal UCONN we have grown accustomed to.
Providence : 28 percent
Quality Wins: George Washington, Connecticut
Bad Losses: Iona, Rhode Island, Marquette (By 30 points!)
Providence is on a real cold streak, and don't have any big wins to boast about. They need some huge wins, and a few at the Garden.
Seton Ha ll : 22 percent
Quality Wins: Cornell, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati
Bad Losses: 25-point loss to Pittsburgh, after beating them just two weeks earlier.
Seton Hall was expected to do better, and they have had some trouble finishing off games. However, their road win at Cornell is looking bigger and bigger.
St. John's : 16 percent
Quality Wins: Siena, Temple, Cincinnati
Bad Losses: Rutgers, Connecticut, Providence (blown big leads to Villanova and West Virginia)
They were expected to be a Big East power. They have shown potential by beating Siena and Temple, but second half blunders in the Big East have cost them. They need to step it up in the next couple of weeks.
Rutgers : Five percent
Quality Wins: Princeton, Notre Dame, St. Johns
Bad Losses: Vermont, (a near loss to D-II Caldwell College)
Rutgers, if possible, is doing better than people thought. Lets put it this way: they need a lot of miracles to get in, and consistent 20-point losses to top-Big East teams says it's not likely. They need a conference tournament win.
DePaul :Three percent
Quality Wins: Northern Iowa, Marquette
Bad Losses: American, Florida Gulf Coast
This team has shown some good potential, nearly beating Tennessee and Syracuse. However, wins haven't been their norm in Big East play lately, and they will need a conference tournament win to get through to the dance. However, after going 0-18 in conference play last year, they did win their first and nearly their second at the Garden.
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