Big East Struggles In Early Season Games

Note: I have spent the past few months studying abroad in Florence, Italy and have been unable to update the site. Look for more updates and posts in the next few weeks and onwards.

Every year, we hear how good the Big East is at basketball. Experts wonder how many teams the league can get into the NCAA tourney and how many teams have legitimate Final Four aspirations. Last year, 11 Big East teams danced. After the first weekend, guess how many remained?

Two.

The conference had five teams ranked in the top four in their brackets, meaning that all five were expected to advance to the Sweet 16, but only one of those teams, eventual National Champion UCONN, did. The only other team to reach the second weekend from the Big East was Marquette and they advanced by knocking off another Big East team in Syracuse. In retrospect, the conference was not worthy of 11 teams.

In his college basketball preseason power rankings for Yahoo Sports on September 14, Jason King said, “The Big East may be even tougher than it was last season.” Well, given the conference’s poor showing last March, that shouldn’t bee too hard to accomplish. Except, King’s tone implies that he thinks the Big East was tremendous last year and can actually out do that last year. Continue reading “Big East Struggles In Early Season Games”

How Bad is the Pac-10?

Oregon knocked off the Pac 10's only ranked team, Washington.

With Alabama capturing the BCS National Championship, the basketball season hits top speed. Today is packed full of marquee matchups in the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big 10, and SEC. There is one major conference I left out of that group: the Pac 10. Washington is the only team ranked in the polls right now, but that will only last until Monday. The Huskies lost to Arizona State this week which will drop them out of the Top 25. 

Arizona State is 11-5 on the season and is 1-2 in conference. I don’t see them entering the polls on Monday. The only other teams that would have any chance of entering into the Top 25 on Monday are USC and Oregon. Those were the only two teams to receive any votes in the polls this past week (not many either). Oregon received just four votes in the AP Poll last week and did not play a game this week. The Ducks were blown out by Missouri and have bad losses to Portland, Montana, and St. Mary’s. They are entering the Top 25 any time soon. 

The Trojans received 46 votes in the AP Poll and 7 votes in the ESPN/USA Today Poll. Well USC has already lost to Stanford this week and faces California later tonight. As with Oregon, the Trojans won’t be breaking the Top 25 this week. 

So that leaves no one. The Pac 10 won’t have a team ranked in the Top 25. Even worse, since Pac 10 teams will almost exclusively be facing each other in the upcoming weeks, there won’t be many opportunities for a team to enter the Top 25. Only Oregon is undefeated in conference so it will have to win for a couple weeks in a row to prove that it deserves inclusion in the Top 25. 

The Big East is strong. The Big 12 has two of the remaining undefeated teams in the country while the other sits in the SEC. The Big 10 and ACC are both having down years, but each has a contingent of strong teams with Purdue, Michigan State, and Wisconsin in the Big 10 and Duke, North Carolina, and Georgia Tech in the ACC. 

When Selection Sunday comes around, I don’t expect to see many Pac 10 teams taking part in March Madness and for good reason.

Why is Kansas #1?

Photo Courtesy of UPI

As I look at the Top 25 College Basketball Standings, they seem to make a lot of sense. The remaining undefeated teams are all at the top followed by teams with 1-loss. Except I still cannot figure out why Kansas deserves to be number one. The Jayhawks are playing at Temple right now, the #19 team in the nation, but this is their first game against anyone in the Top 25. Meanwhile, Texas has beaten Iowa, Pittsburgh, USC, UNC, and Michigan State. Specifically the last two wins, which were both by double digits, are much more impressive than anything Kansas has done. Every one of Texas’s wins has been by double digits.

How about Kentucky? To be fair, I think Kentucky is way overrated and has gotten very lucky this season. Nevertheless, Kentucky has beaten Stanford, UNC, Connecticut, and Indiana.

Purdue proved themselves this week by overwhelming West Virginia, who was undefeated up until that point. Syracuse suffered its first defeat today, but still has wins over UNC, California, and Florida.

So what does Kansas have?

They have a two-point victory over Memphis that was technically a neutral site game, but it was effectively a home game since it was in St. Louis. The Jayhawks won at UCLA, but UCLA is 6-8 on the season including losses to Portland, Long Beach State, and Cal-State Fullerton. Portland defeated the Bruins by 24 points while Kansas won by just 12. Kansas also has an 11-point victory over Michigan, but like UCLA, this is a down year for the Wolverine program. Michigan is 6-6 and also has losses to Boston College and Utah. Continue reading “Why is Kansas #1?”