Big East displaying enviable depth
When you check
Yes, I know. You don't have to murder my inbox or Twitter feed. The Big East isn't going to get 11 bids in March. Frankly, I had no idea that's what the total was until I started bracketing the teams and ran into all sorts of conflicts. When I realized what had happened, I paused and considered changing something. On the surface, it pretty much looks ridiculous to have that many teams in from one league.
That said, as we sit today, with the Big East handily at No. 1 in the conference RPI rankings and with a gaudy 24-15 record against other BCS leagues, it's not unthinkable that so many teams in the league have viable profiles at this point. When you add in that both Marquette and St. John's are "First Four" at-large selections, it implies that the Beast would have had nine teams in last year's 65-team model, which isn't crazy at all.
So take a deep breath, relax and realize that conference play will sort all of this out. Or the Big East will run roughshod over the process as non-BCS leagues and the Pac-10 trip all over themselves. Either way.
Remember, records listed are Division I only, per NCAA tournament selection guidelines. All RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) and SOS (Strength of Schedule) data are from Sunday's collegerpi.com RPI report.
GW = good wins
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Ken Pomeroy (
In KenPom's world, the Jayhawks end up with the 1 seed in the Big 12 tournament five out of every six times you run this season. That seems a bit high to me, but hints at KU's quantitative impressiveness in the eye of a very deep and competitive conference. Plus, now they have Josh Selby.
Connecticut likely will come back to Earth a bit, as the handling at Pitt and the escape at home against USF indicate, but the overall profile should be strong enough to handle almost any regression. Pitt remains the de facto favorite, but this league is the most complex at the top of any BCS conference.
Before the season, this looked like the deepest top of a league in the nation, which makes it even more impressive that the Buckeyes have separated from the pack like this. They're not untouchable, but you can make a very reasonable argument that they are the nation's best team at the moment.
There was an interesting Twitter debate on Sunday about Arizona and whether the Wildcats are the clear No. 2 team in the league. A fearsome two-headed Jeff consisting Yahoo's Eisenberg (
For those wondering why Florida is a lock, the Gators still have the profile of the second-best SEC team (although Vandy may soon have something to say) and the SEC isn't getting one bid. The win at Xavier this week is another solid one to add to Kansas State (when whole) and at Florida State.
This was another bad week for the top of the A-10 and these ongoing misses could haunt the league come Selection Sunday. The good news is that separation at the top of the league may help carry multiple teams with it, if they take care of the rest of the league in conference play.
The Aztecs are tops, but it's hard to see BYU missing at this point, even if the Cougars can't get it done at UNLV on Wednesday night. Both teams should have very gaudy records come March. The Rebels look well-positioned to get in, as well. That's probably where things will end.
There still isn't anyone in this category who's assured of getting in, or really even close at this point, which should make for an even-more intriguing championship week.