Blog Entry

Poppin' Bubbles: Focus is on Big East bubblers

Posted on: March 7, 2012 2:38 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 11:56 pm
South Florida kept itself in the at-large discussion by winning ugly over Villanova. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

The bubble of the Big East has been discussed nonstop for the past several weeks, and the conference takes center stage on Wednesday. All four of the bubble teams are in action, with two of them facing off. Cincinnati is in good shape, especially with the double-bye, so it gets a reprieve until Thursday. It remains to be seen if anyone that loses today can survive on Selection Sunday; teams need to get to the quarterfinals.


Connecticut: Thank you, Shabazz Napier. The Huskies have essentially locked up a bid, by coming from behind and knocking off West Virginia in overtime. Now we don’t need to really debate whether Connecticut is worthy of an at-large bid. The Huskies are 6-6 against the top-50, with 10 wins against the top 100. They needed to win three in a row at some point down the stretch, and they finally reached that achievement. Connecticut is now 7-8 away from home, so the negatives on the resumes are becoming limited. No matter what happens against Syracuse on Thursday, Connecticut will hear its name on Selection Sunday.

South Florida: It wasn't pretty -- or even remotely attractive -- but the Bulls came out with a win over Villanova in the second round of the Big East tournament. Will that be enough to get an at-large bid? South Florida went 12-6 in conference play, and has a pretty solid computer profile. Avoiding a bad loss to Villanova was important, as it gives them something to separate from Seton Hall and West Virginia. The Bulls are only 1-9 against the top 50, with the lone victory coming at Louisville a week ago. They did go 5-0 against teams 50-100, but there's also three sub-100 losses. In the quarterfinals, South Florida will be pitted against Notre Dame. If the Bulls can knock off the Fighting Irish, there will be no need to sweat on Selection Sunday. A loss there, and the lack of quality wins could catch up to them.   


West Virginia: Heading into the Connecticut vs. West Virginia matchup, the stakes were pretty clear: the winner is a lock heading into Selection Sunday, and the loser will sweat it out. Well, the Mountaineers blew a late lead and couldn’t execute in overtime en route to a 71-67 defeat. West Virginia moves to 4-8 in its last 12 games, and although that’s not a criterion anymore, it doesn’t bode well. The Mountaineers have a solid computer profile, but they are just 4-8 against the top 50 (and one of those wins, Oral Roberts, is on the cutline). They have nine top-100 wins and are 4-2 on neutral courts. What could help them is the bubble wins; West Virginia has defeated Miami, Cincinnati, South Florida and Oral Roberts. The best wins are Georgetown and Kansas State, but they also have two sub-100 losses. It will be a close call, but we have West Virginia in as of today. 

Seton Hall: The Pirates will have a long next four days to wait until Selection Sunday, after losing to Louisville in the second round of the Big East tournament. Seton Hall now has losses in three of its last four games, and four of its last games. The two games that the Pirates may end up regretting if they get left out could be the season-ending losses to Rutgers and DePaul. Had they won those two, Seton Hall would have been a lock heading into the Big East tournament. Now, the Pirates are in trouble. The computer profile is not very impressive, and the non-conference strength of schedule is fairly high. The Pirates are 4-8 against the top 50, with wins over Georgetown and Connecticut. They have also defeated fellow bubblers West Virginia, Dayton and Saint Joseph's, which could help. The three sub-100 losses and 5-10 record to finish the season could cost them, though. 


Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: March 8, 2012 5:42 pm

Poppin' Bubbles: Focus is on Big East bubblers

awful fan base? haha wvu has the best fan base by far in the big east if you consider all sports.... fact is they carried the BE for most of the past decade in reference to football relevance.  basketball has been a perennial contender since huggs (one of the three or four best coaches in the game) arrived.  ya we had a down year this year with all the freshman coming in but we will get all kinds of new recruits now and i guarantee WVU will be anything but irrelevent in the big12... leaving mediocrity behind! lol

Since: Mar 22, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:51 am

Poppin' Bubbles: Focus is on Big East bubblers

You seem to forget that this team was the National Champion last year. I don't care how many players a team loses, if they even have a mediocre year they should get the chance to defend their title. UCONN definitely deserves to get in because of the way they won it last year. They came in as a mediocre team and won it all. The NCAA likes a good story and leaving UCONN out wouldn't be the right thing to do.

Since: Oct 29, 2006
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:59 am

Poppin' Bubbles: Focus is on Big East bubblers

I know South Florida had the easy Big East schedule, but to me, they have a solid team that is good to go in the NCAA tournament.  Setan Hall doesn't.  They had something going earlier in the year, but have basically digressed the whole second half of the season.  They're just not playing well, and if they don't make it in, I can see why.  Ucon has tons of talent, and now they are playing well in the Big East Tournament, and they're a NCAA tourament team.  A weeks and a half ago I would have said no.  Today, I fully expect them to play the Cuse tough if their legs hold up. Calhoun will need to use a little more of his bench. 

Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:39 am

Poppin' Bubbles: Focus is on Big East bubblers

Boy, you could not have picked a more perfect name for yourself.  Not only does your name suc but so do you.  Enjoy your time in the Big East while it is still together because as a football conference, it is headed for the scrap heap.  Once Pitt and Syracuse follow WVU in getting out of the conference, even the basketball side of the conference will go downhill.  Maybe the Big East can survive as a "basketball only" northeast conference like the powers that run the conference want it to be.

A Mountaineer in NW Arkansas

Since: Mar 1, 2012
Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:40 am

Poppin' Bubbles: Focus is on Big East bubblers

UConn is awful.  No way they should get in.

Since: Sep 17, 2006
Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:05 am

Poppin' Bubbles: Focus is on Big East bubblers

So South Florida has three sub 100 losses, a 1-9 record vs. the top 50, and has five wins vs. the top 100?

How is that better than

  • ZERO sub 100 losses
  • a 1-9 record vs. the top 19
  • five top 100 wins


Since: Nov 8, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 8:24 am

Poppin' Bubbles: Focus is on Big East bubblers

I've got my fingers crossed that my Alma Mater, the University of South Florida Bulls can win against Notre Dame.  It would be amazing to this group of guys make the tournament.  LET'S GO BULLS!

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: March 7, 2012 6:42 pm

Poppin' Bubbles: Focus is on Big East bubblers

UConn was 9-9 in the BE in 2011 and, you know what happened, were national champions one month later.  Bring your Arizona team to the BE and finish the BE regular season 5-13 ... then you can limp back to the Pac12.

Since: Apr 21, 2011
Posted on: March 7, 2012 6:12 pm

Poppin' Bubbles: Focus is on Big East bubblers

UConn was in whether they won this game or not. If you do not think that they are one of the best 44 at-large teams in college hoops, you either are biased or have not been paying attention. You can't compare the rigors of the Big East schedule to any other conference except possibly the Big 10 this year. Great comeback for the Huskies today, led by Shabazz (despite that horrendous charge call against him).

Since: Mar 3, 2012
Posted on: March 7, 2012 5:19 pm

Poppin' Bubbles: Focus is on Big East bubblers

Are you really trying to say pac12 basketball is anywhere close to the big east....wake up from your dream

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