Saturday, March 22, 2008

Beast of the East?

Earlier today, after #7 seed West Virginia knocked off #2 Duke in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament, memories of Rollie Massimino, Patrick Ewing, Chris Mullin, and Dick Gavitt began circulating through the various NCAA venues as the Big East Conference had won 8 of the 9 games that they had played in the 2008 tourney.

You see in 1985, the Big East absolutely dominated the event, with 18 total wins, 3 Final Four participants, and a Cinderella National Champion. No other league has ever gotten more than two teams in any given Final Four or accumulated more than 15 total wins in any year.

Sheer numbers have given an advantage to the latest versions of the league, as expansion has pushed the total league size to 16 and has increased the number of bids that the league gets each year (they only had 5 in 1985), but there have only been 3 Final Four appearances in the past 8 years.

Alas, later in the day Notre Dame, Marquette, and Pitt all lost their second round games dropping the league's record to 8-4 and making a dominant performance quite unlikely.

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