Thursday, January 10, 2013
Battle for the Big East Bye
Down the stretch they come! As the last couple of weeks remain during the regular season, six teams vie for one of the four 1st round byes in next month's Big East Tournament. Georgetown is sitting pretty at 10-2 in the league, while Louisville, Connecticut, and Notre Dame, is a step behind with three conference losses. Pittsburgh is creeping ever so slowly at 7-4 and Marquette is in the distant with a 6-5 ledger.
Here are the six candidates remaining schedules:
Georgetown (13-0) overall home, (6-3) road; (6-0) conference home, (4-2) road
Louisville (12-2) overall home, (6-2) road; (5-1) conference home, (4-2) road
Connecticut (13-1) overall home, (5-2) road; (5-1) conference home, (3-2) road
@ South Florida
Notre Dame (14-0) overall home, (2-3) road; (6-0) conference home, (2-3) road
@ South Florida
Pittsburgh (14-1) overall home, (4-4) road; (5-1) conference home, (2-3) road
@ Notre Dame
@ West Virginia
Marquette (12-1) overall home, (3-4) road; (5-1) conference home, (2-4) road
@ St. John's
As you compare each team's schedule, both Georgetown and Connecticut are in the driver's seat to earn a first round bye at the Garden. The next two in line, Louisville and Notre Dame, both play each other, but the Cardinals end the regular season at Georgetown. For Irish fans alike, I'd concentrate on how well Pittsburgh plays. What's good for Notre Dame is the home matchup next week in the Joyce that will give the Irish a two game separation. Also, the Panthers have to face Louisville and at Marquette.
In the end, I see Georgetown, Connecticut, Louisville, and Notre Dame, all earning their 1st round exemption. But first things, first, as the Irish need to take care of business at an always tough Rutgers. Some good Notre Dame teams have come into the RAC, but have left in the loss column. Sunday cannot be the day to let the rowdy Scarlet Knight's fans to get into the players heads. These next four games are critical for Notre Dame's postseason success. It's now time to throw down the gauntlet and prove to the nation that Notre Dame Basketball is on the rise!