March 04, 2002

Look Out For Uconn.: Uconn has been dissed all year by the pollsters, but after they win the Big East Tourney, and get a number two ranking in the tourney, no one will be ignoring them. Uconns RPI ranking is 11, and they were not ranked for most of the season. If you are looking for a bandwagon to jump on folks there is plenty of room on the Uconn express.

posted by jbou to basketball at 05:05 PM - 10 comments

See... the problem with this idea is that the Big East is a bad conference. [Sagarin has them as the worst 'major' conference.] Connecticut has had recent closed calls against BC, against Georgetown... they scored 46 against Providence... bottom line is that their results are unimpressive in an unimpressive conference. If they make it to the second weekend I'll be mildly surprised and extremely surprised if they make it to the elite eight. Sure, they could get hot (lots of teams have in March in the past, and someone will again this year) but the odds are strongly against that. [FWIW, UConn is 0-2 against Sagarin's top 10 and 2-3 against Sagarin's top 30... not exactly confidence inspiring numbers.]
OTOH, those UConn women... damn. Seriously impressive. Everyone else is clearly playing for second place.

posted by tieguy at 05:42 PM on March 04, 2002

Oh, BTW, not worth doing a whole new thread about but the West Coast Conference championship is on tonight at midnight on ESPN. First chance for me (and I assume many people) to see Gonzaga play this season.

posted by tieguy at 06:07 PM on March 04, 2002

Gonzaga is vastly overrated playing in their cupcake conference. I watched them play in person when they came to Illinois to start the season, and they were not impressive at all.

posted by gyc at 08:51 PM on March 04, 2002

They've made it to the sweet 16 three straight years. As underdogs. How many big conference teams can say that? Yeah, none. [And only two have managed to do it as favorites. Duke and Michigan State. Not bad company.] And that 'cupcake conference' has a fairly solid record against, say, the Pac-10. [Their top 3 are 4-2 against the Pac-10, don't know about the rest of the conference.] Are they a top 10 team? Who knows. Seems like this season they should leave the 4-10 spots in the polls blank. Would they probably be one of the best teams in the Big East? Yeah, probably.

posted by tieguy at 09:04 PM on March 04, 2002

jbou: Whoa, nelly! Getting a little ahead of the game. I agree, UConn was way under rated for most of the season, but they're getting plenty of press, now (how many times is SC going to show the "How to be a great shot blocker" segment?). Not to mention the fact that they have yet to win the Big East tourney. Any of the top 7 teams can win the tournament if they get hot - even Syracuse, though they've been pretty woeful in the last few weeks. tieguy: unimpressive conference. Well, let me mouth off for a second. ACC: Duke and Maryland can beat up on everyone in the Big East - but then they're beating on everyone. Wake? N.C. State? C'mon. They're no better than the best of the Big East right now. Big 12: Kansas, Oklahoma - good teams, but the jury's out on their performance in the big dance, and the rest of the teams are again, above average, but nothing special yet. Big Ten: Pretty much like the Big East - a bunch of good teams. Except this year, they're probably a little better than the East. But not by much, and that's this year - last year, the East trounced them (as far as results in the tourney). Pac-10: Sure. Great year. Alot like the Big Ten - a bunch of overachievers that look legit. I'm still waiting to see if it's a fluke - can they perform in 2 weeks? Can they do it again next year? *cough*Oregon*cough* SEC: Florida and Kentucky would beat up on the East, but then again, Pitt and UConn both look like they match up well. And the rest? Not so sure of Bama just yet... The way I look at it, the East is had a down turn the last five years, but they're certainly not the weakest year to year. They simply don't have a dominant program (or 2, like the ACC) to point to to legitimize tough schedules. I'd much rather watch the East, the Pac-10, and the Big 10 all year than the other conferences because of their high level parity. If you mean this year, yes, it looks (on paper) like the East is the weakest - but that's just this year, and that's just on paper. I guess we'll see soon enough.

posted by junior at 09:46 PM on March 04, 2002

Big Ten: Pretty much like the Big East - a bunch of good teams. Except this year, they're probably a little better than the East. But not by much, and that's this year - last year, the East trounced them (as far as results in the tourney). Let's take a look, shall we? The Big 10 had 1 team reach the final four (Mich. St.), another make the Elite 8 (Illinois), and an additional Sweet 16 team (Penn St.). Meanwhile, I only see 1 Big East team that made the Sweet 16 (G'Town). So as I see it, it was the Big 10 that trounced the Big East in the tourney last year.

posted by gyc at 10:02 PM on March 04, 2002

I have to agree with you gyc, even though I have sworn to hate you as a Hoosiers fans. Need I remind you , jbou, that UConn had their asses kicked by St. Bonaventure? This maybe more of a Locker Room issue, but I think that Rah-rah posts for the sole purpose of creating buzz should be deleted. This is not newsworthy. Or interesting. Or even slighly convincing.

posted by ttrendel at 01:55 AM on March 05, 2002

ttrendel: well... let's no go that far. I do wish it had been backed up in the first place (and I wish I had the time today to refute junior point by point... hopefully tonight; we'll see) but short that it did create discussion, since the article had some strong claims, even if it was by ESPN's in-house troll.

posted by tieguy at 06:38 AM on March 05, 2002

Fear the turtle.

posted by trox at 10:11 AM on March 05, 2002

gyc, tieguy, et. al. Yeah, I woke up this morning thinking, "Wait a sec. I think I made a big mistake about that Big 10 thing." It's a fair cop. At least I said that I was mouthing off... Looking forward to the point by point refutation.

posted by junior at 12:13 PM on March 05, 2002

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.