How Many Big East Teams Will Survive 2011 March Madness?

by AJ

The Big East has earned compliments across the country as the toughest conference in the nation, and they were rewarded with 11 berths in the NCAA Tournament, shattering their record of eight. One of the best college basketball props bets this year will be the number of Big East teams that will progress to the Final Four, and we’re not sure if they’ll even get a team to that portion of the bracket.

One Big East team earned a No.1 seed in the Southeast despite losing in the conference tournament, and that was Pittsburgh, because the Panthers were the most consistent team in the Big East all season. To be honest, I don’t think the Panthers will make it to the Final Four, and if we had to take a team from that conference to Houston, it would likely be Connecticut, who is on a roll. The Huskies won five games in five days to take the Big East tournament, starting with a thrashing of DePaul, followed by victories over Georgetown, Pitt, Syracuse and Louisville. The Orangemen are another team that could make it to Houston due to a 2-3 zone defense that can smother teams who can’t shoot from the outside, but they also have the length to get back and defend in the post.

The Cardinals are a darkhorse to win it all as well because like the Orangemen, they have a defense that can shock opponents. Louisville runs Rick Pitino’s pressure defense to a tee sometimes, and it’s tough to compete with 40 minutes of full-court pressure, and then they make you run when they have the ball. But if we have to pick one team, you have to roll with the team who has momentum on their side, and that would be UConn.

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