FanPost

Schedule Analysis--Big East Version

The Big East is a log jam right now with 7 teams sitting at 3 losses, while Marquette and Syracuse have separated themselves from the field with only one loss each. So who can put together a February run and win the regular season championship? I think there are 4 teams that have a chance.

1. Marquette

Why they can win it:

They are mature, balanced, and deep. 10 players get more than 10 minutes per game, and only one of them is a freshman. If not for a tough November schedule (losses to Florida and Butler) and a freak loss to Green Bay in December (RPI 168. WTF?) they would be a top-10 team.

Why they won't:

7 of their last 10 games are on the road. They play @Louisville Sunday, and a trip to Syracuse in late February won't be easy. Assuming they drop those, it's also going to take an upset from GTOWN, or maybe PITT to get them to 4 losses. Also, Marquette has taken at least 3 losses after Feb 1 every year since Louisville's been in the Big East. They just don't finish well. Plus their coach looks like Curly from the 3 Stooges.

2. Syracuse

Why the can:

They're good. They play zone. They have a few guys who will get drafted.

Why they won't:

James Southerland is ineligible and now Dajuan Coleman, their starting center, is out 4 to 6 weeks with a knee injury that required surgery. They will win some games, but I don't think they can sweep GTOWN and LOUISVILLE in the same year with a depleted roster. Plus their coach is a booger picker.

3. Louisville

Why they can:

They are just a tough matchup. When Peyton and Russ are at their best, opposing guards get tired, confused, and frustrated. When Gorgui and Chane are playing their best, opposing big men foul, shove, scratch and cheat. When those things happen, Louisville does not have to have a great offensive game to beat you. If just a few three's drop, and the free-throws go down, and it's over.

Why they won't:

Because everything I just said is the basketball version of Halley's Comet: It's real, we've seen it before, but it only comes around once every 7 games. And with three losses already, going unbeaten from here on out would be a miracle.

4. Cincinnati

Why the can:

They are better than their record. A couple one-point losses, a two-point loss, and a 6-pointer to Notre Dame. They took Syracuse to the wire last weekend, and appear to be typical Cincy: battle tested and tough, but somehow find a way to underachieve. But they are the best of the rest, so they have a puncher's chance.

Why they won't:

They would need to go unbeaten the rest of the year, and since they play @Louisville, that pretty much guarantees an L right there. And also Karma. The universe just won't allow it.

Louisville can win this thing, but we're gonna need some help. Marquette and Syracuse will have to take an upset loss (or two). And we have to help ourselves--we can't lose to either of these teams. If those two things happen, the regular season trophy in the last year of the "real" Big East could live forever in the Ville. That would be cool.

Go Cards. Beat Marquette.

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