March Madness in full force

James Evans

This year when the selection committee was choosing teams to go to the Tournament, they seemed to think that the Big East was a weak conference, as they only chose four teams from the Big East, disrespecting Boston College and Seton Hall, teams who had 10 conference wins each. The most shocking selection was leaving Boston College out. This is a team that had beaten N.C. State, Iowa State, UConn and had beaten St. John’s three times and had won nine of their last 11 games, but still they supposedly did not have a good enough record to make it.

Meanwhile, Seton Hall somehow captured 10 wins in what could be considered the hardest division in the nation, the Big East West. The West division consisted of three teams that had all at one time been ranked in the top ten in the nation: Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Notre Dame. The Pirates went 17-12, but their strength of schedule could have made up for the wins. They played teams like Texas, Louisville, Ohio State and DePaul. Their key wins were victories over Pittsburgh and Notre Dame and at one time had an eight game win streak in the Big East, the longest by any team this year.

However, for all the complaints, the four teams that made the NCAA all have high seeds. Pittsburgh was awarded a two seed, Syracuse a three and UConn and Notre Dame were both given five seeds.

In the West, Pittsburgh takes on 15 seed Wagner, a small college that had to win their tournament to get in. If they were to advance out of the first round, they would take on either Alabama or Indiana. Alabama was one of the last teams to get an at-large bid, causing many people to be up in arms over this selection. Meanwhile, this year’s Indiana team is nothing like last year, however with Tom Coverdale you can never count them out.

In the Midwest, Notre Dame takes on 12 seed Wisconsin Milwaukee. Wisconsin is lead by Dylan Page and Clay Tucker, who are both averaging 18 points a game. However, Notre Dame is very deep with point guard Chris Thomas and sharp shooter Matt Carroll, making this team hard to beat. Their likely second round opponent will be Illinois, a team that is coming off a Big Ten title and considered to be one of the hottest teams in the nation.

In the South, UConn takes on 12 seed BYU. The Mormons have already had the committee move them out of the South if they were to advance to the Sweet Sixteen, because they would be forced to play on Sunday, a Mormon no-no. However, BYU will not have to worry because UConn will be sure to knock them out in the first round. In the second round UConn would most likely face Stanford, a team that comes out of the highly touted Pac-10. However, Stanford goes in on a loss as they were defeated in the opening round of the Pac-10 tournament

In the East, Syracuse takes on 14 seed Manhattan. Manhattan is a seemingly weak foe when compared to Syracuse. Syracuse is built strong with freshmen sensations Carmelo Anthony and Gerry McNamara. Anthony has virtually been the freshman of the year in the nation since the moment he has stepped on the court. McNamara has been a pleasant surprise, as he is now considered one of the top point guards in the Big East.

However, everyone knows that March is called March Madness because of all the upsets, so could all the Big East teams lose in the first round? Yes.

However, it would not be a huge surprise if we saw an completely Big East Final Four either.