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Big East bashing palpable as Notre Dame pummeled by Florida State

Mar 21, 2011, 12:19 AM EDT

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Perhaps it was because it was buried late on a Sunday night, or maybe it was just because the Irish shot 32 percent from the floor and got a dismal output from their star, Ben Hansbrough.

Either way, the real second round of the NCAA Tournament concluded with the ninth Big East team exiting stage right, as the Irish were soundly spanked by Florida State in the Seminoles most impressive offensive performance of the season. Now, only two Big East teams remain…both which beat a conference foe to get to the second weekend.

Yes sir, it’s time to cue up a hearty selection of Big East hate.

Of all the talk that the Big East had become a superconference (really, who writes this crap?), the drubbing that Notre Dame took tonight at the hands of a fairly Chris Singleton-less Florida State club capped off a fairly embarrassing four days of games that saw Louisville fall to an Ohio Valley Conference team just a few hours into the Madness, Pittsburgh become the first No. 1 seed to lose, and Georgetown get embarrassed by a mid-major.

Only UConn and Marquette remain as BE representatives, and only the Huskies legitimately possess the right amount of talent to reach the Final Four. But both these squads clipped the wings of a fellow conference team. Basic deductive reasoning tells me that someone had to advance, and that there’s next to nothing to laud about this conference’s long weekend.

On a damage control rampage, Big East commissioner John Marinatto told the New York Times today that, “the body of work that our schools created over the course of the year certainly overshadows what happens in the tournament,” adding that a lot of luck is needed in the tournament too.

Marinatto, while somewhat correct, will certainly get scrutinized by his comments. I’m probably in the majority when I say that a strong regular season can’t overshadow a weak post-season, and I look at the NCAA Tournament as where a conference can really earn its street cred or become the butt of some brutal jokes.  Despite the best non-league record against BCS-conference teams, the latter is about to come in droves.

Tomorrow morning there’s going to be a lot of chatter that we overvalued this 16-team conference, ranging from its talent disparity to its pageantry. Others will add that the Big East is deemed the best conference in college basketball because it dominates the TV listings, or that it’s most popular in some of the country’s loudest and largest media markets that eagerly evangelize this brand of ball.

Either way, expect some unkind words to be hurled at the East Coast these next few days. I’ll be sure to have my armor up.

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Nick Fasulo is the manager of Searching for Billy Edelin. Follow him on Twitter @billyedelin.

  1. chrisco716 - Mar 21, 2011 at 12:58 AM

    NCAA should have policy that no teams with losing records in conference are authorized to play in NCAA.

    • Mike Miller - Mar 21, 2011 at 1:21 AM

      FYI: None of the Big East teams in the tournament had a losing record in conference play.

  2. terrathrax - Mar 21, 2011 at 5:26 AM

    The Big East is better because it’s a “superconference”. Typical media hype. It’s always been the sports writers saying this. And I’m a Big East fan.

  3. Lateef - Mar 21, 2011 at 9:49 AM

    Quite honestly, this focus on 11 teams from the Big East is silly. For a few reasons:
    1) the amount of teams in the tournament went from 64 to 68. The four extra teams had to come from somewhere. Villanova and Marquette never get in if it was still 64 teams, which drops the Big East to their normal 8 or 9 bids depending on if Cincy gets in.
    2) No team in the Big East was ranked #1 in the nation all year. Only Pitt was considered a title threat. So the Big East has a bunch of good teams, but no great teams. Given that at some point in the tournament their teams should lose.
    3) These teams did go out and beat teams from other conferences unlike Colorado who didn’t beat anybody out of conference. For example, UConn and Pitt beat Texas. St.John’s beat Duke. UConn won in Maui. Syracuse beat Michigan State. And so on.
    4) A few of their teams did suffer crucial injuries. i.e. Georgetown with Chris Wright, St.Johns with DJ Kennedy, and Louisville with Preston Knowles (during their loss to Morehead St. Knowles is one of the best on the ball defenders in the country. Maybe he does a better job on the last shot.
    5) Two Big East teams have already knocked out two Big East teams. WV lost to a higher seed in Kentucky. VCU beat Purdue after it beat Georgetown.

    Essentially the BE is deeper, but we knew that for years now. Why is it a big deal now? Other than the tournament was expanded.

    • fullnelson3 - Mar 21, 2011 at 5:50 PM

      The Big East Sucks!

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