As preseason magazines hit the newsstands last month, the age-old debate about what conference will reign supreme in college basketball returned for ’08-’09.
On the gridiron, it is clear that the SEC is the cream of the crop, but it hasn’t usually been as straightforward on the hardwood.
In the northeast, sports fans are fortunate enough to be surrounded by the highest level of basketball in the country. The power group of 16 to watch this year is the Big East.
Look no further than the pundits’ Final Four projections for an indication of the Big East dominance that is expected to ensue on Friday night with Midnight Madness festivities occurring around the country.
Rivals.com basketball editor Bob McClellan has three Big East teams (Notre Dame, Connecticut and Pittsburgh) among his four national semifinalists.
ESPN The Magazine writer Elena Bergeron states that the conference is “clotted with Final Four potential.”
Looking around the league, you can find All-American candidates at nearly every position.
Louisville’s versatile swingman Terrance Williams, Connecticut’s 7-foot-3 center Hasheem Thabeet, Notre Dame bruiser Luke Harangody and Marquette guard Dominic James highlight the talented group.
While the conference could potentially put nine teams in the NCAA Tournament this season, conventional wisdom says the bevy of powerful squads will beat each other up all year.
Time will tell which teams will emerge from the middle of the pack logjam in the behemoth conference, but one thing is for sure—the Big East has put the nation on notice.