College Basketball Preview: Big East Conference

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College Basketball Preview: Big East Conference
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Part 2 of my basketball preview focuses on the supposed kings of basketball: the Big East Conference. With 16 teams, it is certainly the largest.

Last year was loaded with high expectations but poor results, as four teams, most notably Georgetown, fell in the first round of the NCAA tournament. To make matters worse, Villanova, one of the favorites to win it all, lost in the second round to 10th seeded St. Mary's after barely making it past 15th seeded Robert Morris. Only West Virginia made it past the Sweet 16, losing to Duke in the Final Four.

This year, many familiar faces have left for greener pastures. Georgetown big man Greg Monroe, South Florida star Dominique Jones, and Syracuse swing man Wesley Johnson were all drafted in the first round of the NBA draft. Seniors Luke Harangody (Notre Dame), Scottie Reynolds (Villanova), Stanley Robinson (Connecticut), De'sean Butler (West Virginia), and Lazar Hayward (Marquette) are also gone.

The Big East probably lost the most star power of any conference.  Relative unknowns will be forced to lead their respective teams this season. Only three teams boasted top 25 recruiting classes, and only a few freshmen expected to make immediate impacts.

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