Thursday, February 24, 2011

Marquette Adds to List of Big East Teams Likely to Make Tournament

The Big East could have secured an eleventh team in the NCAA tournament with Marquette's victory over Connecticut tonight.  Here's the case for the 4 teams that are on the bubble in the Big East.

St. John's: The newly ranked Red Storm have won 5 in a row, including wins against Connecticut and Pittsburgh.  St. John's boasts a great resume, with wins vs. Duke, Georgetown, and Notre Dame as well.  Their losses to St. Bonaventure and Fordham are pretty bad, but they have secured a bid to the NCAA tournament.  If they beat Villanova at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday, they will get a 5 or 6 seed.

West Virginia: at just 17-10, this team's record won't get them into the tournament, but this well-coached Mountaineer team is very dangerous.  West Virginia is not an easy out by any means, and will challenge everybody.  WVU has wins against Purdue, Notre Dame, and @ Georgetown.  The Mountaineers do have a lot of losses, but none can really be characterized as a bad loss.  Losing to fellow bubble teams, St. Johns and Marquette won't help them, but WVU has done enough to get into the tournament.  Finishing the regular season with a win at Rutgers, and a victory over UConn or Louisville will help them get a higher seed.

Cincinnati: The Bearcats started the year 15-0, but really didn't face any competition in their non-conference schedule.  They started Big East play off poorly, winning just 1 of their first 4 games; however, they have picked it up lately, winning three in a row.  Wins vs. Louisville and Georgetown give them 9 wins in the best conference, putting them safely into the tournament.  With four games remaining in the Big East regular season, Cincinnati plays two against Georgetown and one against Marquette and UConn.  Winning two of these games will likely give them at least a bye in the Big East tournament.

Marquette: The Golden Eagles have the worst record out of these teams, with 11 losses on the season; however, no team has been involved in as many close losses as Marquette.  The Golden Eagles have 8 single-digit losses to ranked teams this year.  I can't even make that number up.  Marquette is a solid basketball team and will wreak some havoc come tournament time if they get hot.  They have wins vs. Notre Dame, UConn and Syracuse giving themselves enough ammo to make the tournament.

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