First, last Friday, Pitt beats West Virginia in triple OT, then Sunday Louisville beats the 'Cuse at Syracuse, and then last night, maybe the biggest upset, UConn defeats 'Nova at Villanova. Who knows what's going to happen in this conference day in and day out? Here are the tourney prospects for the Big East: Locks: Syracuse and Villanova
Looking very good: West Virginia, Pitt and Georgetown
In the hunt for sure: Louisville, Marquette
On the brink (bubble): Cincinnati and Notre Dame
UConn may have played themselves back into the conversation with their win over 'Nova. They are 15-11 and 5-8 with five left to play: at Rutgers, vs West Va., vs. Louisville, @Notre Dame and @South Florida.
They need to win them all or at least four of five with a couple of those being West Virginia and Lousiville-which would be high quality wins-to get in the tourney. Or, of course, win the Big East tournament. The way they played last night they could have beaten anybody in the country.
The Big East has become the SEC of basketball. It's a total grind and very exciting for the fans. I would be not be surprised if two of the four teams in the Final Four are Big East teams. Whether they can win it or not is determined by the likes of Kentucky, Kansas, Purdue, Ohio State, Kansas State, Missouri possibly, Baylor, Texas is not out of it, Duke, Michigan State, BYU and Gonzaga like always. This thing will be wide open.
This may sound very simple, but I think the team that shoots their free throws the best can win it all. UConn was 35-of-44 from the line last night (79.5%). Guard Kemba Walker, who led the Huskies with 29 points, was 14-of-16. 'Nova was 16-of-20 (80%), but UConn just got to the line a lot more and made most of them.
There is no dominant team like North Carolina was a year ago. There are a lot of very good teams, so the tourney should be phenomenal.