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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sorting out the Big East

The Big East is unquestionably the best basketball conference in the country.  It's likely eight and possibly as many as nine teams will be selected to play in the NCAA tournament.  But who are the pretenders and contenders?

Go here for an updated look at the conference standings.  There are currently 7 teams ranked the AP top 25 with an eighth receiving votes.  Here's a quick profile examination of the eleven teams in the conference aspiring for postseason play.

#3 Connecticut: 16-1, 7-1
  • Only loss was at home to #12 Georgetown.  
  • Record vs RPI top 25: 2-1.  
  • RPI: 6
  • SOS: 34
  • Non-conference SOS is 96th
#4 Pittsburgh: 17-1, 5-1
  • Only loss @ Louisville
  • Record vs RPI top 25: 4-1
  • RPI: 2
  • SOS: 13
  • Is 3-1 on the road
#8 Syracuse: 17-3, 5-2
  • Lost vs Cleveland St., @ Georgetown, vs Louisville
  • Record vs RPI top 25: 1-2
  • RPI: 12
  • SOS: 35
  • Average over 80 points a game
#9 Louisville 13-3, 5-0
  • Lost vs W. Kentucky, Minnesota, UNLV
  • Record vs RPI top 25: 1-0
  • RPI: 11
  • SOS: 12
  • Is 3-0 vs teams ranked in ESPN/USA Today top 25
#11 Marquette: 16-2, 6-0
  • Lost vs Dayton, vs Tennessee
  • Recored vs RPI top 25: 2-1
  • RPI: 17
  • SOS: 65
  • Has yet to play Georgetown, Syracuse, Connecticut, and Notre Dame
#12 Georgetown: 12-5, 3-3
  • Lost vs Tennessee, Pittsburgh, @Notre Dame, @ Duke, West Virginia
  • Record vs RPI top 25: 3-4
  • RPI: 10
  • SOS: 1
  • The win over Marlyand looks less impressive now but has also defeated Memphis and is the only team do beat UConn
#19 Notre Dame 12-6, 3-4
  • Lost vs North Carolina, Ohio St, @ St. John's , @ Louisville, @ Syracuse, Connecticut
  • Record vs RPI top 25: 1-5
  • RPI: 66
  • SOS: 169
  • 9-1 at home, 2-3 on the road, 1-2 on neutral court
#20 Villanova: 15-4, 3-3
  • Lost vs Texas, @ Marquette, @ Louisville, Connecticut
  • Record vs RPI top 25: 0-3
  • RPI: 27
  • SOS: 39
  • Only 2 of 6 conference games have been at home thus far
NR West Virginia: 14-4, 3-2
  • Lost vs Kentucky, vs Davidson, vs Connecticut, @ Marquette
  • Record vs RPI top 25: 2-2
  • RPI: 14
  • SOS: 26
  • 3-2 on neutral courts 
NR Providence: 13-6, 5-2
  • Lost vs Northeastern, Baylor, St. Mary's, Boston College, @ Georgetown, vs Marquette
  • Record vs RPI top 25: 0-3
  • RPI: 73
  • SOS: 77
  • Five of their losses are vs teams that will make the tournament but eventually you have to beat someone good to prove you belong.  Their best win thus far is vs Cincinnati.
NR Cincinnati: 13-7, 3-4
  • Lost vs Florida St, Xavier, @ Memphis, @ Marquette, Providence, Connecticut, @ Providence
  • Record vs RPI top 25: 0-5
  • RPI: 57
  • SOS: 36
  • They have the same problem as Providence except they've had more chances to beat a top 25 team.
With this information here is how I rank them:
  1. Connecticut
  2. Pittsburgh
  3. Louisville
  4. Georgetown
  5. Syracuse
  6. West Virginia
  7. Marquette
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Villanova
  10. Providence
  11. Cincinnati
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