SportsTemps home

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Conference Power Rankings: Big East

It's no secret the Sportstemps are partial to the happenings in the Midwest and tend to neglect items that happen on the coasts.  While the watching games on the West Coast can be a bit inconvenient due to scheduling, East Coast games seem to be on whenever you're flipping through the channels.  The world's biggest sports network will pummel the average American with commercials advertising mediocre matchups just because they happen close to home.  Let Dick Vitale continue to praise the awesomeness of the ACC just because he was buds with Jimmy V and Dean Smith.  And let Doug Gottlieb continue to pretend he knows all just because.  That being said, there is some good basketball being played out east and just because we don't have a horse in the race doesn't mean we don't follow what's going on.
I've decided to take a break from the Big Ten this week and start a run-down of the major conferences to provide a quick overview of how each team is doing and where they stand in relation to their league-mates.  We'll start with one of ESPN's favorites: the Big East.

The Sportstemps agree there's good bball
in the Big East but regardless of what ESPN
would have you believe, DePaul, USF, and Rutgers still
remain members of the conference meaning the
Big East also contains the Big Least of roundball.

  1. Syracuse 16-0 (3-0) - A perfect 15-0 record to go along with a more than convincing win over Seton Hall.  This is a team whose biggest road bump to an undefeated January will be a home match with Marquette.  
  2. Georgetown 13-1 (3-0) - Last night's furious rally against Marquette keeps the Hoyas at the top of the Big East and breathing down Syracuse's necks.
  3. Seton Hall 13-2 (2-1) - Big surprise, right? Double digit wins over West Virginia and UConn lead me to believe this is a team to be reckoned with.  They can't be docked for their loss either since it was at Syracuse.  
  4. Marquette 12-3 (1-1) - Each of the Golden Eagles losses came in games they probably shouldn't have lost; losing at LSU and a home game vs Vanderbilt sting but not like last night's collapse at Georgetown (up 14 at halftime).  The best way to erase that is to take care of business in conference play but with Syracuse on the schedule next Marquette may be sitting in the bottom half of the conference at 1-2.
  5. Louisville 13-2 (1-1) - The home loss to Georgetown knocks the Cardinals down from a potential #2 spot in my rankings to #5.  Such is life in the Big East where there are six or seven top 25 teams. The schedule lets up a bit in the next week until they travel to Marquette.
  6. Connecticut 12-2 (2-1) -  No Kemba Walker, no problem. Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier (awesome name) have been sensational offensively for the Huskies.  January's schedule will be a breeze compared to February's though.  Still, if there is a such thing as a Big East sleeper come March this is my pick.
  7. Cincinnati 12-3 (2-0) - Cincinnati got off to a rough start when they lost to Presbyterian in November and an ugly loss to Xavier - in more ways than one - may have buried a lot of teams but the Bearcats have won seven straight.  Their game next Monday at Georgetown will say a lot about where this team stands.
  8. West Virginia 11-4 (2-1) - West Virginia has a rough slate the next two weeks and if they can make it through January with a .500 conference record they could really pick up steam in February thanks to an easier than most schedule that includes Providence, South Florida, DePaul, and Rutgers.
  9. Pittsburgh 11-4 (0-2) - What to make of this team?  They've played a pretty cupcake schedule so far and still have four losses.  If they go 9-9 in conference play do they earn at-large consideration? I think no and a winning record is now that much harder after losing to Notre Dame and Cincinnati. If the Big East wants nine teams in the NCAA Tournament again Pitt will need to step up.
  10. Notre Dame 9-6 (1-1) -  Coming in to the season the hopes were of an NCAA bid but that may be a bit unrealistic since the Irish lost their best player in the second game of their season. This is now officially a rebuilding year and the loss at Cincinnati last night makes Notre Dame 1-4 against possible NCAA teams.
  11. Villanova 7-7 (0-2) - There is a clear divide between good and bad teams in the Big East this year and Villanova is surprisingly on the bad side.  With no quality wins and two ugly performances in conference play it will take a remarkable run to generate any NCAA consideration.  Still, with five freshman seeing significant minutes, there's potential improvement as the season progresses.
  12. South Florida 8-7 (1-1) - The Bulls appear to be bi-polar.  They're pretty tough at home (7-1) but abysmal on the road (1-6).  If they can manage to sneak out a couple of road wins in conference play while continuing to win at home there could be marginal bubble hopes here.
  13. St. John's 7-7 (1-2) - This is a team that plays four freshman and a sophomore major minutes so expecting last season's success is a bit unreasonable.  If they can go undefeated against the teams below them they could secure an NIT berth.
  14. Rutgers 8-7 (0-2) - A nice double overtime win at home vs. Florida notwithstanding, this team's best win is against Stony Brook. They may also own the Big East's most difficult schedule meaning wins will be at a premium.
  15. DePaul 9-4- (0-1) - Does anyone still believe DePaul should be in the Big East?  Join the Horizon League or something.  At least then they'll save some money on travel.
  16. Providence 11-5 (0-3) - It's already been a long season for the Friars. They got blasted by St. John's 91-67 and only managed 40 points against Georgetown. It's about to get worse as their next three games are against Seton Hall, Louisville, and Syracuse. Ouch.
Next up: the WCC.
Post a Comment