A few comments before this week's ballot. Last season, the Irish trailed at halftime and struggled throughout before eventually defeating 2-5 Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks finished the season 10-19 with a first round loss in the Patriot League Tournament. Notre Dame, of course, rebounded to defeat Maryland and Alabama in the next ten days and the rest is history. Just an interesting historical note for anyone discouraged by last night's performance.
In addition, I have purchased Basketball on Paper by Dean Oliver. Looking forward to some good Christmas reading. Special thanks to the man I sat with at the game last night, a frequent reader of this blog, whose financial contribution made the book's purchase easier. A very merry Christmas to him.
- Pittsburgh- Beat Duke, watch the Hoyas lose, move into the top slot
- Marquette- Lost to Duke by 4, beat a ranked opponent, climb over Georgetown
- Georgetown- First sign of weakness in their first real contest of the season
- West Virginia
- Notre Dame
- Seton Hall
- South Florida
- St. John's
Freshman of the Week- DeJuan Blair- Pittsburgh
Robinson earned his award with a 32 point, 11 rebounds performance against Maine. Blair was excellent (15 points, 20 boards) before fouling out in the big win over Duke.
I think Georgetown's utter humiliation (they really got killed) is not great news for the BE and could lead to only 6 teams getting in this year. Plus GT is such a paper champ at this point. What an awful schedule for a 'contending' team to play.
I mean, what's the best BE OCC victory right now other than Pitt over Duke? Nova over LSU? Marauette over Wisonsin? maybe even ND over KSU? Yikes....Not good for conference RPI
So here's to WVA beating Oklamhoma this weekend (and then losing the HUGE game for ND next week)
It really has been an embarrassing year so far for the conference. Going into the season, it looked like the Big East could get seven, eight, or even nine slots in the tourney. The committee won't give the middle of the road schools a break this year, Notre Dame has to finish in the top 6 at least.
Pitt over Duke is the only OOC game that is anything resembling an impressive win. ND beating Kansas State is certainly in the second tier, but that's not a good sign.
The only good news is that it may be easier than previously thought to get 11/12 wins this year. Maybe the other shcools will get it together in the new year. Either way, the Irish need to be clearly one of the top teams in the conference to be confident come Selection Sunday.
I hope you enjoy the book. It is a different way of thinking about the game. I have followed the game for nearly 45 years and enjoy it even more after Basketball on Paper than before.
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