Katz on 18 Game BIG EAST Schedule

dave@friarblog —  February 26th, 2009 10:00 PM
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There was some talk last week about how Jim Calhoun said that the 18 game league schedule was doing more harm than good.

“The league and the number of games, the only way is to cut it back, there’s no other way possible,” the UConn coach said. “I disagree with the 18 games. I think we’re paying too great a price to our teams. And we’re 24-2. We’re probably going to the NCAA tournament. I’m not moaning. I’m looking at it (from) an overview from a guy who’s 23 years in the league and loves the league and wants to see every team have a fair chance. … The games are fair. The officiating has been very good all year. I was upset the other night because it was a different type of game but beyond that, it’s been great all year.

“But I want to see our teams and our coaches and our players succeed. I think the 18-game schedule is prohibitive.

In Andy Katz’s latest blog entry, he thinks it helps more teams get in.

Any Big East coach who wants to go back to 16 league games should take this into consideration: Playing the two more games to reach 18 helps more teams get into the field. Let’s just take Notre Dame for example. The Irish are 7-8 in the Big East, with the possibility of 7-9 if they lose at Connecticut on Saturday. If there were only 16 league games, then the Irish would have a tougher time getting an NCAA bid. But Notre Dame has two more chances to get wins. Obviously, the Irish wouldn’t have two more home games since they would have already played eight home games in a scenario with 16 league games. Still, the two games remaining with Villanova and St. John’s give the Irish a chance to get a bid. Also, look at Providence and its remaining games. PC is 17-11 overall and 9-7 in the Big East after the win over Pitt. Claiming one more road win, even at Rutgers, to reach 10 conference wins would carry more weight than 9-7. So, even if the Friars split the two remaining road games with Rutgers and Villanova, a 10-8 Big East record would help them get a bid. The Big East has to get all its teams on nationally, as well, multiple times. In a 16-game schedule, that becomes tougher. Don’t expect the 18-game schedule to shrink to 16 anytime soon.

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