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Sunday Conversation: 3/9

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In which we discuss the Big East Tournament, the strength of the Big East, and the official All-Big East teams. So, a lot about the Big East.

"If the Big East is up by my head, the A-10 is down in this area somewhere."
"If the Big East is up by my head, the A-10 is down in this area somewhere."
Joe Robbins

Joel
So we've got Marquette in the first round and a probable date with Creighton if we win. What do you guys think of that draw?

Bryan

I like the draw against Marquette and here is why: I think we have a better chance of stopping them than they do of stopping us. In their win, Jake Thomas went 6-10 from three and they shot 50% as a team from three. Marquette is not typically a good outside shooting team and Thomas is only at 38% shooter on the season, which leads me to believe that, if defensive adjustments are made, Marquette will have to find another way to win. Against Creighton, we have a puncher's chance, although I am not bullish on it because of the absolute demolition McDermott put on Providence tonight.

Brad
Oh sure, the 45 look gaudy, but only two assists? Share the ball, man.

Seriously though, that's crazy, and he only took 25 shots to do it. You tip your cap to that and accept your four seed.

Joel
I had 42 on 24 shots in an intramural game once. More to the point, though, what is your feel on the Marquette draw?

Brad
Either of them or St. John's was preferable to Georgetown. I think one win and we can breathe easy. If we lose to Marquette it's squeaky bum time all the way through the selection show.

Joel
What was your impression of the Big East regular season? We were picked to finish seventh in the pre-season poll, so finishing third was an ostensible accomplishment. On the other hand, there were definitely some niggling issues that made for frustrating results. Does our position heading into the conference tournament constitute a success?

Brad
Just now watching Chelsea. Kyle Walker is laughably rubbish.

Third in the Big East? Yes, that's a success. Go back to the start of the year and if someone offers you ten wins and third place, you'd snap their hand off. Sure, you can feel like wins were left on the table, but that's college ball.

Bryan

I would say it is a qualified success. A lot has gone well this year, especially in conference play, but there is also the disappointment of having work to do in order to make the tournament that could possibly have been done earlier. I think this season did establish us as a viable threat in this league which some newcomers (*cough* Butler) failed spectacularly to do this season. Overall, a success, but definitely not the pinnacle of what this program can do in the Big East.

Brad
Completely agree. We aren't peaking at third. Keep in mind, this is something of a rebuilding season still.

Joel
I like what we did this year. If you look at Creighton, they certainly have a special team, but I'm not sure they have a special program. Other than them, nobody added to the league finished above us. Villanova was obviously spectacular this year, and you can look at Providence, St. John's, and Georgetown and see reason to believe they're going to be nationally relevant next year. With the recruiting class we have coming in and the talent we have coming back (whether or not Semaj decides to make the jump), we're going to be very good next year, maybe even better than we are this year. I don't see any reason to believe that we're not going to be punching near the top of a very good league for years to come. This year, though, we're really on an edge.

Brad
Capitulation is a response, right? If so, Spurs are really responding well to Eto's goal.

Back at basketball, this is the time of the year where interesting things are happening every day. I'm really curious to see what happens with Dayton. They're in the situation we were so eager to leave. They've had a good year (for Dayton) but one early round A10 loss and they're way off the bubble.

Joel
I think Dayton is ahead of us right now, but they illustrate the irresistible pull of bubble attrition. It's axiomatic that some teams are going to spit the bit. We're in a position right now where we have to hope more bubble teams stumble than bids are stolen. Gun to my head, though, I think we're in. We're certainly in better position than we were last year.

Brad
No kidding. I'd love to see Winthrop get in today. I wasn't as excited to see EKU sneak in last night. Mostly, I cannot wait to be looking at that bracket all in black and white and unblemished by any mark. I love the original bracket so much that I may not mar it with picks this year.

Bryan
Well it would probably do better than your bracket last year (OH SNAP!). But for real, I will rest easy if we beat Marquette and we don't see a preponderance of one bid leagues becoming 2 bid.

Joel
Do you care how many bids the Big East gets? I mean, there's all this talk about how many bids each league is going to get and how that is a measure of the league's strength and whatever, but it's only about Xavier for me. The only reason I was stoked about getting to the Big East was better competition and a better chance of making the tournament. Once that happens, who cares?

Also, the All Big East teams were released. Semaj got first team and was unanimously selected, and Stain was honorable mention. Hard to argue too much with either of those, but somehow Kelli Dunham got second team. That's a reputation pick right there, because I haven't seen anything our of him this year that impressed me at all.

Brad
Dunham? I guess shooting without regard is it's own reward here. Crawford was Xavier's last volume scorer, and he was a considerably better shooter. Dunham? Did anyone even care about him this year?

Bryan
Wow. A lot of more deserving guards must be fuming over that pick. I regards to number of bids, I really don't care as long as X gets in, but 4 or 5 would be nice, just so people shut up about the weakness of the conference this year.