Katz: Big East looking top-heavy

dave@friarblog —  December 30th, 2008 6:45 PM
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Big East looking top-heavy heading into league play

The NCAA tournament selection committee will slice apart each member’s résumé, like they will for every other at-large candidate. Beating up on the bottom six — projected as Seton Hall, Providence, St. John’s, DePaul, Rutgers and South Florida — is a must as a first step, but if there aren’t quality wins among the other 10 teams, the worthiness of a bid will be questioned.

Providence blurb:

Providence (8-4)
• Next game, first Big East game: Wednesday vs. St. John’s
• Most meaningful wins thus far: vs. Charlotte (in Anaheim, Calif.)
• Number of Big East games against projected bottom six: 6
• Number of projected top-10 Big East teams Providence plays twice: 2 — Cincinnati and Villanova
• Key stretch: Feb. 18-March 5

Fittingly, the final three weeks of the regular season can determine if the Friars have a pulse. The Big East will provide more opportunities for quality wins than any other conference. If Providence is still standing by mid-February, then playing three of its final five games on the road (at Louisville, Rutgers and Villanova) will determine the Friars’ fate. The two home games during this stretch are against Notre Dame and Pitt, which could prove to be must-wins by that point in the season. But just imagine if Providence were to beat Notre Dame and Pitt, and steal a win at, say, Louisville, in the final three weeks. How many other bubble teams would have three quality wins like that in the final few weeks of the regular season? That’s why a team like PC has a shot.

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