Michigan makes it 5 consecutive NCAA Title game losses for Big Ten

tim hardaway-ncaa-title

The Big Ten in the NCAA Title game of college basketball is starting to get like the Big Ten in bowl games versus the SEC in college football. Since Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans won the NCAA Title in 2000, the Big Ten has finished runner-up in the NCAA Title game five times: Hoosiers in 2002, Illini in 2005, Buckeyes in 2007,  Spartans in 2009, and now the Wolverines in 2013.

Louisville outlasted Michigan 82-76 to secure the NCAA title.

And I am emotionally spent! What else could you ask for as a college basketball fan watching a NCAA title game? It was full of runs, tough defense, hustle, and a hard fought victory in the closing minutes…it was simply a great game!

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Fox Sports replaces ESPN as New Big East broadcast partners

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The new Big East, otherwise known as the Catholic 7, announced a new partnership with FOX Sports that will grant the television network exclusive media rights. The old Big East was completely in bed with ESPN, so this move to Fox could signify at least a small shift in power away from ESPN and to Fox Sports. Certainly it means a lot in the college basketball world.

With the launch of Fox Sports 1, hopefully one day Fox Sports will be able to rival ESPN, the World Wide Leader.

FOX Sports and FOX Sports 1 will acquire television rights to all Big East games, as part of a 12-year contract that was detailed during a press conference at the midtown Manhattan studios of FOX News. (And you know those studios are fair and balanced, the won’t tip over) Under the broadcast partnership, FOX Sports will have television rights to a wide range of marquee Big East basketball games, including the annual Big East conference tournament.

The new Big East will consist of the Butler Bulldogs, Creighton Blue Jays, Xavier Musketeers in addition to join the Catholic 7 basketball conference which consists of the seven college basketball only schools previously in the Big East: (Catholic institutions Marquette, DePaul, Georgetown, Villanova, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Providence)

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Big East Tournament will have major impact on NCAA Tournament seedings

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The next few days of the Big East Tournament will play a major factor in the seeding that the conference teams earn when the NCAA Tournament brackets are announced on Selection Sunday.  A team could easily move up or down a couple of seeds depending on the outcome of their performance at Madison Square Garden.  Here is a best case/worst scenario on where the Big East teams could land in the brackets depending on their result at the Big East Tournament.

Click here for my latest NCAA Tournament Bracketology.
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#44 Cincinnati Bearcats: College Football 77 in 77

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For the Cincinnati Bearcats, it might be a step down this season. Okay it probably most likely will be. Especially since they have to replace playmakers in QB Zach Collaros and RB Isaiah Pead. This won’t be a Big East title type of team, and given where the program has been recently, 2012 could be a bit of a disappointment.

They’ll probably still make a bowl though.

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Temple to take West Virginia’s spot in the Big East?

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The Big East has a slot open now that West Virginia is being allowed to leave immediately for the Big 12 conference. Who will grab it? Possibly Temple who played in the Big East in football only from 1991-2004, but was forced out of the league. Now that the Big East has less options, and their college football situation is so awful, suddenly Temple doesn’t seem so bad.

It played as an independent and eventually landed in the Mid-American Conference in 2007. The Owls’ other sports programs, including men’s and women’s basketball, are in the Atlantic 10.

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2011-2012 Big East basketball power rankings (2/17/12)

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The biggest news involving Big East basketball this past week; Buh-bye West Virginia.  This will in fact be the Mountaineers final year as a member of the conference as they head to the Big 12.  Meanwhile, several teams have their NCAA Tournament hopes on life support and need to finish the season strong to ensure a spot in the dance.  Be sure to check back every Friday for my latest Big East Power Rankings.

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2011-2012 Big East basketball power rankings (2/10/12)

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The biggest news involving Big East basketball this past week was the announcement that Memphis will be joining the conference beginning in the 2013-2014 season.  Meanwhile, teams are beginning to separate themselves from the pact and state their claim for the NCAA Tournament.  Be sure to check back every Friday for my latest Big East Power Rankings.

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Notre Dame, once written off, look like NCAA Tournament lock now

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When best player Tim Abromaitis went down for the season, Notre Dame was totally written off for the entire college basketball season. Instead, they’ve had a true Ewing Theory going on, just like they did in 2010 when star forward Luke Harangody got injured and missed a lot of games down the stretch.

The Fighting Irish were written off by everyone after some bad losses in November and December. Yet here they are today, among the best teams in the Big East, and a team that beat four ranked opponents in January alone.

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Memphis Tigers joining the Big East

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So what do the Memphis Tigers bring to the Big East table? Well, they were recently a power in national college basketball, and for years they were kind of held back by their conference in that regard. The Big East is still a major hoops conference, but this move does help replenish the league after the recent defections.

In national college football, Memphis has become somewhat of a bit player, as the Tigers have made a few bowl games. They will strengthen the league on the gridiron as Big East football is pretty awful.  And of course, all conference alignment shifts are always all about football.

From the AP:

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2011-2012 Big East basketball power rankings (2/3/12)

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It seems if you are in the Big East, you are either streaking (Marquette, Notre Dame, Louisville, Pitt) or you are sliding (Cincinnati, UConn, West Virginia, Seton Hall.)  All in all, it makes for a competitive conference with several teams still having plenty of work to do on their NCAA Tournament resume.  Be sure to check back every Friday for my latest Big East Power Rankings.

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Notre Dame’s Mike Brey: His Best Coaching Job Ever?

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Call it Ewing Theory Part Deux. When leading scorer and rebounder Luke Harangody when down with injury in 2010 midseason, Notre Dame Coach Mike Brey rallied his college basketball team out of a losing streak and into a solid NCAA Tournament berth with a few adjustments.

The major adjustment was shifting to the burn offense, which although extremely boring to watch, limits possessions and equalizes talent disparities. When his star player Tim Abromaitis went down for the season with an ACL after he played just two games, Brey had adjustments to make again.

I wrote off the Irish, as did everyone else. Yet here they are with a 6-3 Big East record, and a fantastic tournament resume. How was Brey done it?

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Notre Dame is Now Eric Atkins’ Team

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Notre Dame sophomore guard Eric Atkins has been the alpha for ND this season, especially since Abto went down for the season with a ACL injury. Today he was named a captain along with forwards Tim Abromaitis and Purdue transfer  Scott Martin for the remainder of the 2011-12 season.

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