Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Big East is a Beast

Coming into the season the Big East conference was widely considered to be the best basketball conference in America. As predictions are only speculation, there were plenty of chances for the conference to fall flat on its face and prove the critics wrong. But so far in the early Big East teams have gone nation-wide to prove why collectively the Big East is to be reckoned with.
Since last Thursday, starting with Seton Hall's upset win over then No. 20 USC, the conference has racked up quality win after quality win and taken down more than a handful of the country's best teams. Here is a recap since then

Thursday (3-0)
Seton Hall 63, No. 20 USC 61- Bobby G's club, playing only seven players, took it to the second-best Pac-10 team. A huge win for the conference as Hall is supposed to be the 13th best team in the Big East. Talk about depth.
Providence 111, Sacred Heart 87
West Virginia 86, Longwood 54

Friday (5-1)
No. 2 UConn 89, LaSalle 81- The Huskies struggle with LaSalle, almost falling asleep at the wheel, but are too good to lose.
No. 6 Pitt 86, Akron 67
No. 9 Notre Dame 65, Loyola-Marymount 54
No. 12 Memphis 84, Seton Hall 70- John Calipari is too good a coach and the Tigers are too talented to repeat USC's mistakes.
Syracuse 86, Oakland 66
Rutgers 69, Robert Morris 55- Mike Rosario drops 27. Rutgers fans rejoice because they think they have the next coming of Quincy Douby.

Saturday (8-0)
No. 3 Louisville 79, Moorehead State 41
No. 6 Pitt 86, Indiana (PA) 60
No. 17 Marquette 100, Milwaukee 80
No. 18 Georgetown 81, Drexel 53- The Hoyas wipe the floor with a solid A-10 team, but the bigger story is freshman Greg Monroe. He scores 20, grabs 8 boards, 4 assists, 3 steals, 3 blocks.
Providence 83, Maine 62
St. John's 79, Howard 44
Cincinnati 74, Western Illinois 46
DePaul 67, Illinois-Chicago 63

(3-1 )
No. 2 UConn 76, No. 16 Miami 63- a great win for UConn, as four Huskies go into double-figures. Jack McClinton drops 27 but on 23 shots and the rest of the Canes are quiet
No. 3 Louisville 81, South Alabama 54- South Alabama was considered a sleeper in last year's NCAA tourney and the Cards make this game a nap for fans.
Xavier 63, No. 12 Memphis- Not a Big East game but an important one for Georgetown. After being trounced by G'town, Xavier proves that either game was an aberration or the Hoyas are a whole lot better than anyone thought.
St. Bonaventure 64, Rutgers 63
Seton Hall 77, Virginia Tech 73

Monday (5-0)
No. 2 UConn 76, No. 19 Wisconsin 57- only one guy over ten points for the Badgers and a new star on the night for the Huskies as Jerome Dyson leads all with 21 to show off UConn's depth.
No. 8 Notre Dame 88, Indiana 50- Bet you Tom Crean never thought it would be this bad this early in the Hoosier state.
Syracuse 89, No. 18 Florida 83- another huge upset win for the Big East. Five guys in double-figures for SU, and two with double-doubles.
St. John's 73, Eastern Michigan 61
Cincinnati 82, Coastal Carolina 56

Tuesday (7-0)
No. 4 Pitt 74. Belmont 60- The Panthers make easy work of last year's almost-David
No. 8 Notre Dame 81, No. 7 Texas 80- it sounds like repition, but another huge win for the conference. Luke Harangody has 29 and 13, Kyle McLarney and Tory Jackson add 19 and 16, as ND beats the best team in the Big-12 with just 23 minutes from their bench.
No. 15 Marquette 85, Texas Southern 68
No. 22 Villanova 71, Monmouth 48
Syracuse 89, No. 23 Kansas 81- read above.
West Virginia 76, Delaware State 42
St. John's 73, Loyola (IL) 54

Final record: 31-2
Wins over top-25 teams: 6

Not a bad start to the year. This conference may really get 10 teams into the the Tournament.

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