The BIG EAST has placed five teams in the top 16 of the Preseason Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Polls. In the AP, Connecticut is No. 3, Villanova is No. 5, Louisville is No. 7, West Virginia is No. 14 and Syracuse is No. 16, In USA Today/ESPN it's: Connecticut No 2, Villanova No. 4, Louisville No. 8, West Virginia No. 15 and Syracuse No. 16. No other conference has more than two teams in the top 16 in either poll.
Syracuse Gets Out Of The Gate First With Two Wins
Coach Jim Boeheim's Syracuse club is already 2-0 after victories over Bethune Cookman (68-37) and Cornell (67-62) in the 2K Hoops Classic that benefits Coaches vs. Cancer. SU advances to the semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York on Nov. 17. ESPN2 will televise. The Garden was almost a second home for the Orange last season. They played seven games there, which included winning the Coaches Vs. Cancer tourney crown with a 77-62 triumph over Memphis. In March, SU won The BIG EAST Championship Presented by Aeropostale.
West Virginia Shoots For Kansas City
Coming off an amazing season that ended in the NCAA Elite Eight, West Virginia begins 2005-06 as one of four hosts of the Guardians Classic. The Mountaineers play Louisiana-Monroe on Satuday and either Wofford or Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday. If WVU wins both games, it will advance to the semifinals in Kansas City next week. Other teams in the 16-team field include Texas, Kentucky and Iowa.
Seton Hall Prepares For Preseason NIT
The Seton Hall Pirates are the BIG EAST representative in the Preseason NIT. The Pirates host Manhattan on Nov. 14. In the history of the BIG EAST, Pirate head coach Louis Orr is the only person to be a player (with Syracuse), assistant coach (Providence and Syracuse) and head coach (Seton Hall) in the league. If the Pirates beat Manhattan, they will meet the winner of the Boston U.-Duke contest.
Louisville Joins WVU In BCS Poll, Hosts Rutgers
After its 42-20 victory last week over Pittsburgh, Louisville got back into the BCS Poll, taking the 25th spot. All six BCS charter conferences have multiple teams in the BCS rankings. The Cardinals, who improved to 6-2 with the win over Pitt, will host Rutgers on Friday on ESPN2. Kickoff is 8 p.m EST. Both teams are already bowl eligible. Rutgers is 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the BIG EAST.
USF Started November With A Win
The USF Bulls began a postseason push with a 45-31 victory at Rutgers last Saturday. Running back Andre Hall was named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week and linebacker Terrence Royal garnered Defensive Player of the Week honors. The Bulls are 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the BIG EAST. They play at Syracuse on Saturday. USF controls its own destiny. If the Bulls win all of their remaining games, they will be the BIG EAST's representative in one of the BCS Bowls.
Connecticut, Pittsburgh Battle On BIG EAST Game of the Week
The Connecticut Huskies and Pittsburgh Panthers will meet in the BIG EAST Game of the Week this Saturday. The game, which can be seen by almost one-third of the country, features two teams that are trying to keep their bowl hopes alive. UConn is 4-4 overall and 1-3 in the BIG EAST. Pitt is 4-5 overall and 3-2 in league play.
Louisville's Brohm, Dumervil Make Semifinalist Lists
Cardinal quarterback Brian Brohm has been named one of 15 semifinalists for the Davey O'Brien Award, presented annually to the nation's top quarterback. Defensive end Elvis Dumervil has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the Lombardi Trophy, presented to the nation's top lineman, offensive or defensive. Brohm is second in the nation in passing efficiency with a rating of 165.4. Last week, Dumervil set an NCAA record for forced fumbles in a season with nine. He leads the nation in sacks, averaging 2.5 per game.