Posted 03/11/2009 at 05:31 PM
Make sure you take into account what an upset means in a conference tournament game. For example in the Big East tournament DePaul knocks out Cincinnati after going winless in the conference regular season. The upstart teams can go either way, they can continue to play well with nothing to lose or they can be content with getting one good effort and lie down the next game. The more important impact is with the opponent.
All week Providence, a team likely on the wrong side of the bubble was expecting to face Cincinnati. The upset completely alters the game plan and changes the emotional state heading into the game. The Friars can take the perspective that they caught a break facing an easier opponent or they can be upset that they did not get a chance to bolster the resume. Providence also could get caught looking ahead to the more important game in the next round.
DePaul did come out and play well and Providence looked flat and clearly were not soundly prepared for the match-up. Although DePaul was playing a second straight game, Providence looked lost, not having the needed prep-time and the mental focus they would have had if they had faced Cincinnati. In the end the better team prevailed and actually almost stole the cover, but DePaul was there the whole way before falling apart in the final minutes.
If there is an upset in a game that leads to a chnage in the opponent for a team coming off a bye in the tournament, be aware of the impact that upset could have. Even though the favorite may be well rested and in a better situation a quick change in the attitude and preparation can cause a disappointing effort.