Ugly Day For Big East In First Round Of NCAA Tournament

March 19, 2010 – By John Ritter

Considered to be one of the best conferences in all of college basketball, the Big East is looking like a pushover.

After the first day of the NCAA Tournament, three of the conference’s four teams to play on Thursday lost in stunning upset, while Villanova barely hung on against 15th-seeded Robert Morris. The stunner of the day was Ohio’s blowout win over three-seed Georgetown in which the Bobcats never trailed, shot 56-percent from the field and hit 13 3-pointers.

“We really thought we could make some noise in this tournament,” Hoyas guard Austin Freeman told the Associated Press. “We really didn’t imagine we would be one-and-done.”

Marquette led 11-seed Washington by as much as 15 in the second half, but blew the big lead and lost on a late bank-shot by Quincy Poindexter. It was the Eagles 16th loss by four points or less this season.

“It was fool’s gold for us,” head coach Buzz Williams said. “We weren’t doing what we needed to do defensively, and that was because the game was going too fast. [We] had to play our five best players too many minutes in the second half. With the game going that fast, it wears us down. That’s why it’s fool’s gold.”

What’s worse is the conference’s ugly showing in the NIT. Seton Hall, which was hoping to sneak into the NCAAs after an up-and-down season, got the brakes beat off them by middling Texas Tech, part of three opening round defeats. St. John’s lost to Memphis, South Florida fell to the ACC’s 12th-seed N.C. State and UConn narrowly held on to beat Northeastern.

Of the eight Big East teams to play this week, only two have won.

And now, there are only three left to restore the reputation in the NCAA Tournament as no. 1 Syracuse faces Vermont, no. 2 West Virginia plays Morgan State, no.3 Pitt takes on Oakland and Louisville takes on Cal in the dreaded 8-9 match-up.

College Basketball Betting Odds
are heavily-slanting the games towards Big East winners, but the Cardinals will have their hands full against the Golden Bears, who won the Pac-10 regular season and reached the conference tournament final.

Cal is favored, which makes Louisville the only Big East team slated as an underdog in the first round, but the Cardinals’ starting lineup has plenty of experience in the tournament, and is beginning to be a trendy pick for an upset.

“We’ve been to two straight Elite Eights, coming off a Big East championship the year before, so we have a lot of experience in the backcourt,” head coach Rick Pitino said. “This is their fourth NCAA tournament appearance, our backcourt. So I think they know what it’s all about.”

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One Response to “Ugly Day For Big East In First Round Of NCAA Tournament”
  1. BIG EAST IS OVERRATED. Says:

    HERE WE GO AGAIN WITH “EAST COAST BIAS”……..YOU PEOPLE ON THE “L-EAST”COAST, SHOULD QUIT LISTENING TO ALL “YOURSELVES”, AND QUIT STROKING EACH OTHERS EGO’S, LISTENING TO THE LEFT LEANING EAST COAST PRESS CORP. AND START WRITING ABOUT OTHER TEAMS FROM THE SOUTH, MIDWEST, SOUTHWEST, AND WEST COAST.

    IT GETS SOOOOO SICKENING TO HEAR ESPNERS VIA THE “L-EAST”, WHINE AND WHINE ABOUT WHY THE BIG L-EAST, IS SOOOOO GREAT, AND ALL THE OTHER SCHOOLS IN THE COUNTRY, ARE “NON MENTIONABLE”.

    WAKE UP AND SMELL THE SOUTHERN, MIDWESTERN, AND WESTERN ROSES. THERE IS A TON OF THEM. ALL THE “FLOWERS AND ROSES” DONT JUST GROW IN THE L-eAST.!!

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