If the early season tournament are indication, the Big East is going to dominate Selection Sunday. Again.
Big East schools won six of the November tournaments and finished second in two others. The list:
Pitt beat Texas to win the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in New York.
Georgetown beat NC State to win the Charleston Classic.
Connecticut beat Kentucky to win the Maui Invitational.
Syracuse beat Georgia Tech to win the Legends Classic in Atlantic City.
Notre Dame beat Wisconsin to win the Old Spice Classic in Orlando.
St. John’s beat Arizona State to win the Great Alaska Shootout.
West Virginia lost to Minnesota in the final of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Villanova lost in the final to Tennessee in the NIT Season Tip-Off.
When March rolls around, it won’t be a surprise to see half the conference in the Big Dance. Again.
“We’re going to get eight bids [to the NCAA tournament] again,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey told Andy Katz. “That’s what it looks like based on these early returns.”
As Andy Katz writes, it’s a none-too-subtle reminder to those of us who think the Big Ten is the top conference. In fact, Pitt coach Jamie Dixon gets mad just thinking about it.
“Every year the media wants to come up with another best league, some other conference,” Dixon told Katz. “Yet, we’ve done this year after year. We’re easy to dismiss. But then we’ll beat each other up in January and February and our RPI won’t be as high so we won’t get as many higher seeds.”
OK, coach. I was with you until the whole seeding thing. In what alternate universe are you living? Do you not remember the Big East’s top seeds last season? No? I’ll refresh your memory.
- 1 (Syracuse)
- 2s (West Virginia, Villanova)
- 3s (Georgetown, Pitt)
After that it was a pair of 6s (Marquette, Notre Dame) and a 9 (Louisville). That’s five of the top 12 seeds. (I’ll gloss over the fact that none of those 1, 2 or 3 seeds lived up to their seeding except W.Va.) And did Dixon forget 2009 when the Big East had three No. 1 seeds?
Let’s focus on how everyone’s played this season, shall we? It’ll help your cause.
Want more? I’m also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller.