Sunday, February 28, 2010

How many NCAA Tournament teams from the Big East?

As we begin to approach March Madness, the annual question begins to come up... how many teams are going to make the tournament out of the Big East? It was a conference that was expected to be down a bit at the beginning of the season, but it has been as strong as ever.

There are, of course, a few locks to make it in. Syracuse, West Virginia, and Villanova have been in the top 10 for most of the season, and they will be dancing. Pittsburgh has also been ranked for much of the season, and their ticket appears to be punched. Ditto for Georgetown.

After that, I wouldn't want to be setting any college basketball betting lines for how things will shake out.

Connecticut looked like it would have a tough time getting in as recent as a couple weeks ago, but they have made some big statement wins. They have wins over West Virginia and Villanova, but they are also only 7-9 in the Big East.

UConn will be hurt by their loss to fellow bubble contender Louiville, improving the Cardinals to 10-6 in the conference. They look like they will be in after their win over the Huskies.

Similarly, Marquette beating Seton Hall on Sunday might have been close to a play-in game, as both teams are right on the bubble. Marquette won 84-83 in OT, improving them to 10-6 in the conference, while the Pirates fell to 7-9. While Marquette has a middling RPI, their 10 conference wins (and counting) will be difficult to ignore.

Most penciled Notre Dame out of the tournament when Luke Harangody went down with injury, but they have played very well without him. They scored two big wins against Pittsburgh and Georgetown in the past week, and have a great chance of playing themselves into the tournament at the end of the regular season.

Cincinnati and South Florida have had their moments throughout the year, but I am not sure that their overall body of work will be enough to get them in.

As of now, I see 9 Big East teams in the Tournament:
West Virginia
Notre Dame

What do you think?