Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Big East Will Get 8 Bids

Put an end to the ACC being a better conference than the Big East. It is simply not that intelligent. The ACC has three clear-cut locks for the NCAA Tournament with two or three probably going to get at-large bids. On the other hand, the Big East has seven locks, with one more team on the way to the Big Dance if they continue to win. Yes, you can read that again: the Big East has eight teams on its way to the Field of 65. In an unprecedented scene, a conference is going to represent over twelve percent of the Tournament.
Right off the bat, Boston College, Connecticut, Syracuse, and Villanova are definite locks, meaning that there is no way these teams will not make the NCAA Tournament. The next tier has Pitt, Notre Dame, and Georgetown, teams that are locks as of now but still could beef up their resume during the remainder of the season. After that, there is West Virginia, a team that is 8-7 in the third-best conference in the country (don't ask me how the Pac-10 is #2) and owns victories at LSU, at NC State, home vs. George Washington, as well as two wins over Pitt. They only have one bad loss-- Marshall-- and the Mountaineers currently have an RPI in the 40's with an SOS in the 70's. At this point, I don't see any way one can justify leaving West Virginia out. If they win at Seton Hall to close out the regular season, they will be 9-7 in the Big East and 19-8 overall. The Mountaineers will get a #7 seed in the Big East Tournament, and should they advance past their first round game, WVU will have 20 wins (10 in the Big East). You can not deny them a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Looking at that, eight teams is not even a possibility, it's a probability, in my opinion. If Notre Dame and West Virginia hold serve, and Pitt and Georgetown grab a win in the Big East Tournament, eight bids from the Big East Conference is likely.

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