Huge Rebound: Big East Teams Bounce Back in Sweet 16
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Remember last week, when everyone including me dismissed the Big East because five teams got booted in one night?
Is it too late to take that back?
The Big East made a convincing case Thursday night why it's still the top basketball conference in the country. Syracuse showed no mercy to Indiana, whom I picked to win the national championship. They defeated the Hoosiers 61-50, which -- to be frank about it -- wasn't that close. The Orange pushed the Hoosiers around like a bunch of badasses on the playground. From start to finish, the Hoosiers had no chance, because when the Orange get hot with their 2-3 zone coverage, it's the most stifling defense in the country. And on this night, the coals were well and truly stoked.
Keep in mind that Syracuse was on a losing streak a few weeks ago, but it seems that when the music starts playing, the Orange can dance with the best of them.
How disappointing is this loss for Indiana? Like their neighbors in South Bend found out in January, heavy is the head that wears the crown. Two top seeds are now gone.
And let's not forget about Marquette. The Golden Eagles ended the Miami Hurricanes' dream season, turning its end a nightmare by defeating the ACC champs, 71-61. Marquette displayed its own brand of Big East stifling D and made it look too easy at times against the Hurricanes, clearly confirming to Coach Buzz Williams that his charges have outgrown the need for Pampers.
And all this has occurred before Louisville even takes the court Friday night.
This version of the Big East may be on its way out, but to paraphrase Mark Twain, news of its death was very premature.