As I sit back and review the first day of the NCAA Tournament, one thing that sticks out to me is that the Big East may be the most overrated conference in the tournament this year. It is only the first day, and they have completely embarrassed themselves getting upset left and right.
It all started off with the Notre Dame vs. Old Dominion game. In the first half it appeared as if Notre Dame was just a little to tense, and would eventually start to take control of the game. Well, I was wrong, and Old Dominion was able to pull of the first major upset of the day beating Notre Dame 51-50.
Big East: 0-1
At the same time that game was going on, a possible epic upset was taking place with another Big East team, Villanova. Many, including I, did not even consider Robert Morris as a contender in this game. But, they dominated throughout the whole game, until the end, where Villanova was able to force the game into overtime. Villanova was able to take control early in overtime, but Robert Morris game them a scare at the end that fell just short. Villanova won 73-70 in OT.
Big East: 1-1
Then, the break in-between games came, and the Big East looked like they were poised to win their next two games. Well, they did not get exactly what they were looking for. What happened next was the most embarrassing part of the day for the Big East.
First, Georgetown started off playing against Ohio. Oh, well this should be a walk in the park. Right? No, actually this was a walk in the park for their contestant, who trampled over the Hoyas from beginning to end. Ohio was leading by 10 or more throughout most of the game, and anytime it looked like Georgetown may be coming back, Ohio held their ground and would not let them back in it. Georgetown loses 97-83.
Big East: 1-2
The next thought that went through my mind was, "Can this get any worse for the Big East today?" I thought that with Marquette playing Washington the, Big East would at least finish the day at 2-2. But, the Big East had decided to add more shock to this already peculiar day.
When I looked at this game my first thoughts were: "Ah, a top-notch Big East team vs. a Washington team who had win the Pac-10 Tournament to get in, which isn't really saying to much." Marquette looked like they were going to finally pull away with a 15-point lead and only 14 minutes left in the second half. But, Washington continued to battle and found themselves tied with the ball for the last shot of the game. Quincy Pondexter drove to the basket and made the lay-up, giving Washington a 2-point lead with 1.7 seconds left. Marquette's Lazar Hayward then missed a half-court heave, and Marquette went down in defeat. Marquette loses 80-78.
Big East: 1-3
So, did we think to highly of the Big East, or did we think to lowly of the rest of the conferences?
One thing is for sure; the play of the Big East teams was the biggest disappointment of the day. We expected them to come in and dominate the NCAA Tournament. But, they have done the complete opposite.
They were expected to win every game today, but failed to win all but one. If the Big East does not pick perform better tomorrow, they may end up having all of their teams fizzle out of the tournament in a hurry.