The Pressure's on the Big East

The Big East had a good weekend in the NCAA tournament- Only one invitee (West Virginia, playing in Minneapolis) from the mega conference was knocked out of the tournament. And while I don't think anybody can debate that the conference is good, is it fair to crown 'em before the dance is half-over?

It's been well-documented that the Big East, with all of its talented teams has some serious problems that might help contribute to a perception of strength. Multiple teams in the top part of the conference only had to play the other top-third teams once...and atop that, as strong as the top of the conference was, there were some lousy teams which played like little-more than bye games for much of the conference schedule.

Winning 25-plus games in a major conference is a difficult task, don't get me wrong, but it's no reason to coronate a team as an automatic Final Four entry. I too found it difficult to predict anything short of a Big East dominated Final Four, and perhaps I've been mildly brain-washed, but there's still a lot of basketball to be played...and much to be decided.

To further reference Dennis Green, it's not the time to let these teams off of the hook.

The homecourt advantage enjoyed by so many of the top teams in the nation is gone as many move to truly neutral sites. Connecticut enjoyed playing just a four hour drive away from home in Philly, 'Nova played at the same site, just 23 minutes away from campus. Pitt played four hours from their home court in the first two rounds, Louisville played two and one half hours away. Syracuse, Marquette and West Virginia were the only three Big East teams that were a flight, instead of a drive away from home and while the Orange(men) battled through a tough 'Zona State team, Mizzou ended Marquette's season in Boise and WVU couldn't outlast an A10 opponent on a neutral site in round one.

So, the soap-boxing by the CBS and EsPN pundits will not cease as long as there's reason for them to do so...But teams like Purdue, Xavier and Oklahoma can possibly help diminish the talk to a low-roar by beating their respective Big East opponent. The pressure is now on the members of the greatest basketball conference ever to see if they will live up to their billing and make this year's tournament into nothing more than the Big East Invitational.

As for the other 11 teams still dancin', I guess it's just the Big East's world and you're all just renting space, until it's proven otherwise.

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As The Dust Settles