How we can reform The Big East Conf Tourney

The Problem: After watching an exciting Big East Tourney in NYC...Pitt Panthers playing at their highest level of the season winning 4 games and the Big East Championship...GTown playing like it had all yr. Seeing the best championship game of the week as Pitt and GTown beat the heck out of each other in the Sat Night final...

....watching the Hoyas receive a #2 seed and Pitt a #4 seed....then watching both teams win their first NCAA Tourney games... then each 'hits the wall' about 30 min into their 2nd game in the Tourney.

In 2008, the Panthers lost their legs vs Mich State after playing 6 games in 10 days. This reminded many of 2006, when Syr won 4 tough games in NYC to get the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and five days later, the Orange was basically 'exhausted' for the NCAA Tourney game.

Louisville, West Virginia and Villanova have advanced to the 2008 Sweet 16. They had one thing in common, early exits from the Big East Tourney. Marquette took Stanford to OT and looked fresh throughout.

After observing other Conference Tournaments: the Big 10/11- seeing Wisconsin play only one difficult game in the Big 10/11 Tourney and see how their fresh legs got them to the Sweet 16...seeing Duke not being able to recover their legs vs West Virginia one week after a tough ACC tourney...I think something needs to be done to keep the Big East competitive in the NCAA Tournament.

Now, given the fact that The Big East has 16 teams... given the fact that in 2009, all 16 teams will be eligible to participate in the Big East Tournament.... given the fact that the Tournament will be extended by one day.... given the fact that Big East fans enjoy the competitive NYC Tourney games... and given the fact these same fans want to see their favorite players be able to walk off the team plane without limping and later on have enough energy to jump out of their chairs on Sunday night when the NCAA pairings are announced, I want to make the following proposal...let's call it the "DoddsOnSports Proposal.:

I propose to "Extend The Big East Tourney by 2 days…starting it on Sunday, thus giving Big East teams more days off during the Big East Tourney week. Give 'byes' to the top 8 teams but reward the top 4 teams with an additional day of rest. "...here are the specifics:

[1] start the BE Tourney on Sunday in NYC with teams 9 thru 16 playing 4 games...we will assume 9/10/11/12 win.

[2]...then on Monday, have all of the Sunday winners 9/10/11/12 play teams 5/6/7/8....we will assume 5/6/7/8 win.

[3] Tue becomes an off day...

[4] on Wed, the Monday winners 5/6/7/8 will then play the 'bye' teams seeded 1/2/3/4...we will assume 1/2/3/4 win.

[5] Thur becomes an off day....

[6] On Fri, the Wed winners will play, 1 v 4, 2 v 3.....prime time on ESPN.

[7] On Sat, we assume 1 v 2....and 1 wins...

Under this scenario, 2008 Pitt would have won Game 1 on Monday...then rested on Tue...won Game 2 on Wed...Rested Thur ...won Game 3 on Fri on ESPN and finally, won Game 4 vs GTown on Sat, again in prime time on ESPN....that is 4 games in 6 days, not 4 games in 4 days so it gives teams extra time to rest the players for the NCAA Tourney.

GTown would have played Game 1 on Wed, Game 2 on Fri and Game 3 on Sat.

[Note: Marquette won the 2001 Great Alaska Shootout playing scheduled games on Wed, Fri and Sat...they had Thanksgiving off....other teams such as Indiana and Gonzaga started playing in Alaska on Thur. In Game 2, MU beat Ind on Fri night and played a Gonzaga team that was playing its 3rd game in 3 nights on Sat night...MU's legs were fresher than Gonz's and MU pulled away in the 2nd half.]

Objective of DOS Proposal: Scheduled days off will improve performance and will help Big East teams recover more quickly thus becoming more competitive in the NCAA Tourney games. Special considerations must be planned as The Big East is too big and too good to have its top teams go down so early. Fatigue makes cowards of us all. Discuss.

[Note we have copyrighted this article and have applied for a patent.]


Marquette Hoops Top Stories