2008 Big East Conference Championship Preview
When it comes to conference tournament basketball it does not get much better than the Big East. Every game is televised and they play on one of the biggest stages in basketball history and that is the court at Madison square garden. The field is also one of the most competitive in the basketball country and every game seems to be a dog fight and this year should be no different as the lower teams try to fight to get into the big dance while the favorites look to avoid the early upset.
Favorites: When it comes to favorites there is a laundry list of teams that can win it all starting with the defending champion in the Georgetown Hoyas. In fact any of the top seeds can win it in Louisville, Connecticut, or Notre Dame. That does not mean you should count out the lower seeded teams because that is what makes the Big east so great, any team on any night can give another team a tough fight. In tournament style that can become very deadly as all they have to do is win one game. That leads us to our next category the dark horse teams that can shock and awe during the tournament!
Dark horses: This is another long list of potential teams that can walk into this tournament and take down a big seed and advance for a shot at the big dance. Many teams are in need of a good run in the tournament if they want a shot at hearing their team announced on selection Sunday. Syracuse is always a crowd favorite since they are in essence playing on the home court and they would need a quality win or two to get off the bubble and into the big dance. They are not the only teams that can make noise in this tournament however. Pittsburgh is a dangerous seven seed since they were hear last year they have the experience and like Syracuse the wins in this tournament would help them immensely when the committee members have to take a look at their resume. That is overlooking some strong middle seeds in Marquette and West Virginia that could easily advance deep into this tournament.
Don’t bet on it: There are a couple of teams that would really have to go above and beyond to make some noise in this tournament and they should get early exits in this conference. Villanova and Cincinnati are teams at the top of this list. They have played well and the Bearcats may surprise because they have played decent defense in the past but look for them to go out right away and quickly follow both Villanova and Seton Hall. Villanova and Seton Hall are just too over matched in this conference and don’t have the physical presence to match up with bigger teams in the conference.
And the Winner is: Connecticut. This is by far one of the toughest regions to pick with potentially six teams that could win the entire thing and I would like to go with Georgetown to repeat but the fact that the conference is tough from top to botto9m will make it harder for them and the main hurdle they will have is UConn. Uconn has the coaching advantage and the players down low to match up with them physically and provide the challenge that Georgetown needs. Louisville has the horses if they get hot from shooting outside the perimeter but that usually does not last the entire tournament and they could get upset along the way from Notre Dame and possibly even Marquette. One thing is for sure you can expect a great tournament from the Big East as they always put together a great tournament!
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