Yesterday this blog listed the candidates that could win the Big East regular season championship in the upcoming 2013-14 season. It appears, looking at the rosters here in the early days of October, that there are seven teams talented enough to claim the conference. But only one can, and that means one of those teams is going to finish 7th or even worse in the 10 team conference. And unless that team wins the Big East Tournament, their NCAA Tournament hopes will likely be slim.
In fact, it’s probably most realistic that five (or fewer) teams make the NCAA Tournament from the Big East. Attrition will likely be an issue. The parody that seems likely in this league could cause some schools that are actually quality teams to have rather mediocre conference records.
And if those teams that are hovering at or just above .500 in conference didn’t win a couple ‘good’ road games or played a weak non-conference schedule without a noteworthy win, they’ll need to capture the automatic bid from the conference tournament at Madison Square Garden. Otherwise a trip to the NIT will be in store.
The round robin scheduling format is the best and most appropriate way to determine a conference champion. And while it should provide for an extremely entertaining season for us fans, it could be to the detriment to a few teams that are on the wrong side of too many close games.
Most would assume that Marquette, Georgetown and Creighton are pretty much locks for the NCAAs. And maybe they are. But if some of the others are as good as they can potentially be, then that road won’t be as easy as some assume.