Blog Entry

Does the Big East take it up a notch today?

Posted on: March 10, 2011 10:30 am
 
It was another drama-filled Wednesday in Manhattan. Connecticut rather quietly sent Georgetown home in the noontime tip, but then Rutgers-St. John's provided fodder that could last throughout the rest of the week, as an officiating snafu at the end of the game cost Rutgers a chance to move into Thursday's quarterfinals.

Cincinnati, with its 87-61 dispatch of South Florida, made everyone look again at just how bad Villanova has become. And the nightcap featured Marquette effectively locking up an NCAA tournament bid, sending West Virginia home with a 67-61 loss.

So what about Thursday? Conference tournament storylines rise up and fade out quickly, so let's look forward. Can the impending games possibly ramp and vamp up the drama even more? It would appear so. Here are the four matchups, and some nougat-filled commentary to set the table for what's arguably the best day of Championship Week.

Pittsburgh (1) vs. Connecticut (9). None of Thursday's games are do-or-die, but Pittsburgh could very easily lose its grip on a one seed if it lost to UConn in the noon game at the Garden. The Huskies will probably be content if they are competitive, yet lose. At this point, a five seed is secured for Jim Calhoun's team. A win over Pitt? Yeah, a four is definitely possible. The Panthers always, always show up in the Big East tourney, though, so beware.

Syracuse (4) vs. St. John's (5).
The Big East's two teams who like to proclaim they are New York's Basketball Team. Johnnies coach Steve Lavin said yesterday he believes the city is big enough to accommodate both fanbases. The Garden should be packed for this. A reminder: Syracuse hasn't been its best as of late. It's been good, but nowhere near the team it was in November and December ... when it was playing weaker competition. This is only brought up because Georgetown and West Virginia have also struggled a bit as of late, and look what happened to those teams yesterday.

Notre Dame (2) vs. Cincinnati (7). The Irish need to win the Big East tournament to get a one seed. Cincinnati is probably the best team it could face in the first round in an effort to do so. The Bearcats are a bit nondescript, but their primary guy, Yancy Gates, could find some trouble in playing against the burn offense of the Irish. Expect a slug-it-out type of game.

Louisville (3) vs. Marquette (11). The question in this one: Will Rick Pitino force Marquette to run? The Golden Eagles are playing their third game in three days, and the Cardinals are not averse to pushing it. If that doesn't happen, perhaps some zone offense will be tossed at Marquette. This is the most intriguing matchup of the day, mainly because Marquette only lost by one, at home, to Louisville in mid-January. Cardinals are a hard to figure, in terms of seed, right now. A loss here, and where do you put them? One last thing. Let's see how focused MU is now that it's locked up a bid. It swears the motivation hasn't changed. Body language will determine that around 9:45 Thursday night.

Posted by Matt Norlander

Photo: AP

Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: March 10, 2011 1:25 pm
 

Does the Big East take it up a notch today?

think it should read worst team.... but we will see how it spins out

No, I think he had it right with best.  You think they'd rather face one of the other ramaining teams?  No, I think this worked out well for the Irish.




Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: March 10, 2011 12:46 pm
 

Does the Big East take it up a notch today?

cuse won 5 in a row.......three of which are against wv villla and gtown....



Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: March 10, 2011 11:51 am
 

Does the Big East take it up a notch today?

'the Irish need to win the Big East tournament to get a one seed. Cincinnati is probably the best team it could face in the first round in an effort to do so.' 

think it should read worst team.... but we will see how it spins out


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