Butler, Xavier, Creighton joining Catholic 7 basketball conference (Big East Update)

catholic-7-basketball-conference-xavier

Multiple sources report The Butler Bulldogs, Creighton Blue Jays and Xavier Musketeers will 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)

Not since Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation have a group of Catholics felt so freed and empowered. (Remember they were all Catholics before they became Protestants and later Lutherans. Catholic excess was what they were “protesting” against. I guess 7 Catholic schools gave up the Big East conference for Lent.

The Catholic 7 basketball conference will still keep the Big East name. New league begins play July 1

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College basketball is AWFUL in all of Illinois, yet again

depaul blue demon

What a shame. What a crying shame that Chicago, which every year has some of the best preps talent in the country, has zero going for it on the college level. Unless the Illinois Fighting Illini can somehow go 6-3 down stretch (and they face some brutal opponents so this highly unlikely) what Land of Lincoln team will get into the big dance? An improved UIC team that is 9-2 at home and 5-5 on conference could very possibly win the Horizon League Tournament, the only way they get their ticket punched. So maybe zero teams in the NCAAs this year, just like last year, just like four years ago. Juxtapose that with Indiana in 2000, when the Crossroads of America got seven teams in the big dance.

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#100 DePaul Blue Demons: College Basketball 111 in 111

depaul blue demon

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Another college hoops season, another year where the DePaul Blue Demons are picked to finish in the cellar of the Big East.  Oliver Purnell was hoping the resurrection of the program would have been accelerated from where it now is entering year three.  Instead, DePaul has still yet to show any true growth from a team that has won just five conference games in the past four years.

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

wvu cheerleaders

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)

notre dame cheerleaders

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

vander blue marquette

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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2011-2012 Big East Basketball Power Rankings (1/27/12)

notre dame rushes court

“Down Goes Frazier!  Down Goes Frazier!”  Syracuse suffers their first loss of the season at the hands of Notre Dame but still sits atop my latest Big East Basketball Power Rankings.  Meanwhile, Pitt wins their first game of the season while the Seton Hall slide continues.  Be sure to check back every Friday for my latest rankings.

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2011-2012 Big East Basketball Power Rankings (1/20/12)

cincinnati bearcats cheerleaders

Unbeaten Syracuse maintains their hold on the top spot in my latest Big East Basketball Power Rankings.  As has been the case early in this season, the pecking order after the Orange remains up for grabs as we have our fourth #2 team in the past four weeks.  Be sure to check back every Friday for my latest rankings.

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2011-2012 Big East Basketball Power Rankings (1/13/12)

syracuse orange mascot

As Paul M. Banks pointed out in his most recent Big Ten Power Rankings, “power rankings are only fun when the hierarchy is rather grey and things are up in the air.”  That properly describes the Big East this season as outside of Syracuse, there is no clear cut second best team in the conference.  Here are my latest Big East Basketball Power Rankings including the last place team being one I never thought I would ever put in the cellar.

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2011-2012 Big East Basketball Power Rankings

usf cheerleaders

It was a bizarre Thursday night in the Big East as Pitt was upset at DePaul while Villanova got smoked by 17 at home against South Florida.  With the Panthers and Wildcats reeling to start conference play, there is some shake-up in our latest Big East Basketball Power Rankings.

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2011-2012 Big East Basketball Power Rankings

syracuse orange mascot

Last year, the Big East made history by sending 11 teams to the NCAA Tournament.  The depth of the conference was clear and obvious when a UConn team that finished with a 9-9 mark in Big East play cut down the nets.  With the league possibly entering the final year before Syracuse, Pitt, and West Virginia selfishly bolt for greener pastures (screw you, college football), the conference as a whole is down compared to what it has been in previous years.  Here are my inaugural 2011-2012 Big East Basketball Power Rankings.

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Duke Blue Devils, 903 and Mike Krzyzewski: Class Acts

Duke NCAA Champions

In 1990, I was a grade-school student who loved sports, and had many teams. However, when it came to college basketball, I was at a loss.

I grew up in Chicago. I love Notre Dame football, but beyond David Rivers and LaPhonso Ells, ND basketball left a lot to be desired. In the mid-80’s I loved Dallas Comegys and Rod Strickland, but after their respective departures, DePaul hoops became lost in a vacuum.

So, when Georgia Tech, Arkansas, Duke and UNLV met in the 1990 Final Four, I was a fan without a team. Sure, I rooted for ND and DePaul, and have since, but everyone enjoys cheering for a winning team.

The ’90 Final Four was held in Denver, CO, the boyhood home of my father. And my dad had managed to land tickets to the final round of the tourney.

As my dad and I entered McNichol arena that Saturday night, I was disappointed. I had chosen to root for UConn because my best friend had recently moved to Chicago from Connecticut. But Christian Laettner ended Tate George’s and all other UConn’s fans’ hopes with his first Elite 8 buzzer beater.

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