Posted 01/28/2008 at 01:43 PM
One of the big games last weekend featured a Big Ten versus Big East battle between two prodigious basketball universities. Connecticut delivered a big upset over Indiana that may speak volumes about the strength of the two conferences. UConn + the points looked like a promising situation early in the week and was definitely a game high on my list for Saturday but then news broke that two key players did not make the trip for the Huskies.
Starter Jerome Dyson and contributing reserve Doug Wiggins were both suspended for violating team rules but it did not seem to matter as Connecticut dominated the game in Bloomington, taking the lead about halfway through the first half and never looking back. The Hoosiers had been arguably the best team in the Big Ten up to this point in the season but to lose badly at home to a young UConn team that has been a middle-of-the-pack Big East team might clue us into how good the Big East might be.
With 16 teams in the conference it is no surprise that the Big East is deep but as many as ten teams probably have NCAA tournament caliber resumes at this point in the season. Conference play will likely eliminate a few squads but it might be tough to cut teams from the Big East considering the impressive non-conference wins delivered this season. The Big Ten could conceivably end up as five-bid conference the way things look today, but it is certainly a down year for the conference. Purdue and Ohio State will certainly have some work to do in conference play to stay in contention for bids and the teams at the bottom of the Big Ten do not come close to some solid respectable teams that will inevitably end up at the bottom of the Big East standings.
One of the most shocking outcomes of the weekend came in San Antonio Saturday night with the Hornets exhibiting that they are in fact ‘for real’ with a dominant win over the Spurs by 24 points on the road. Perhaps it was not as big of surprise as most would say as a closer look at the recent results for the Spurs reveals some troubling signs. Check out my latest article for more on the Spurs.