Monday, March 3, 2008

Vinny Pezzimenti Moment -- Week 16

Another "two steps back" week for the Wildcats. Two double digit losses, albeit to two of the better (read bye seed) teams in the Big East. Still, it would have been good to see the young cats be competitive in those games...

My Big East Blogger Poll for this week:

1 - Louisville
2 - Georgetown
3 - Notre Dame
4 - Connecticut
5 - Marquette
6 - Pittsburgh
7 - West Virginia
8 - Cincinnati
9 - Villanova
10 - Syracuse
11 - Seton Hall
12 - Providence
13 - DePaul
14 - St. John's
15 - South Florida
16 - Rutgers

Who's Up...Who's Down...
Georgetown and Louisville are set for The Showdown next Saturday. Each has run through the last part of their schedule without a hiccup. The Cardinals and Hoyas having kicked the Golden Eagles, the Huskies and Irish down to the next level (not far down, actually) are firmly established as exclusive owners of the Big East Penthouse. Their showdown, will set the #1 and #2 seeds for the Big East Tournament. As for the next three, Notre Dame, Connecticut and Marquette, all have have two games scheduled for next week, but the heavy lifting should be over. The Golden Eagles finish out against the Orange next Saturday (in the Dome), but take a break first against the (Just Plain) Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday evening. The timing of this game is odd, but maybe it's because the (Just Plain) Eagles are in great demand. According to Ken Pomeroy (Marquette Schedule Page), the Golden Eagles (that's Marquette) are favored by 38 points. Degree of certainty? Again according to Pomeroy, 100%. I can think of a few other Big East that would welcome a game with the (Just Plain) Eagles right about now. The Syacuse game will certainly not be a walk-over for Marquette, but the Orangemen are, to this point in the season, squarely in the Rugby scrum that has developed at the next level of the Big East. I did not change any of the rankings among those five as nothing "unusual" happened last week. If all goes as predicted (by Pomeroy and others...), those rankings will most likely hold, with the winner of Louisville at Georgetown taking #1 and the loser taking #2, into the Big East Tournament. I did not change the ranking of the #6 - #11 teams either, though I expect the next set of rankings will reflect some of the end of the season games next week. Pittsburgh travels to West Virginia to close out their home-away series with the 'Eers. The Panthers won in Pittsburgh by a point. The game, played tonight, should the most interesting game (outside of Washington DC) in the Big East this week.. The bottom quartile has, like the top quartile, pretty much settled in. With the Bulls win in Piscataway over the weekend, they pretty much settled who would take the last spot in the conference (Rutgers). St. John's did hold serve against Seton Hall on Saturday, and have managed, however briefly, to put themselves back into the conversation about the BET. The Johnnies are one of three teams at 5-11 going into the last two games, I did have DePaul & Providence swap places. All three will compete for the last two seeds in the BET. Given that collectively they will face Cincinnati, & Pittsburgh (DePaul), Connecticut, & Villanova (Providence) and Notre Dame & West Virginia (St. John's), teams that can win 1 will most likely be assured of a spot. For the others it comes down to tie-breakers.

This week's OWs...
Luke Harangody of Notre Dame got my vote this week, despite the fact that the Irish went 1-1 on the week. Harangody scored 64 points in two games, 40 against the Louisville Cardinals on Thursday, followed by 24 against the Blue Demons on Sunday. That was 64 points on 27-46 (3-5!, 24-41, 7-10) shooting. Amazing work. Haragody provided 47.1% of Notre Dame's offensive output for that game. He also pulled down 12 rebounds and dished 4 assists for that game. His efficiency numbers for the 2 game run were PPWS - 1.28 and 62.5, those are not as impressive as the raw score, until you realize he was providing something on the order of 50% of Notre Dame's offense. He was not the second/third option down the floor. It would be very difficult to make a stronger argument for Player of the Year for anyone other than Harangody. Also noteworthy was Joe Alexander's 49 point week. Joe put up 17 points against DePaul and 32 against Connecticut. The ROW was another old reliable, Dominique Jones of South Florida. Jones scored a combined 48 points against Rutgers (31 points on 9-17, 2-6, 7-11, 11-14) and Seton Hall (17 points on 6-17, 2-6, 4-11, 3-4) on 15-34 shooting. His PPWS (1.13) and eFG% (50.0) were impressive given (like Harangody...) the amount of the offense he provided (about 34% of the shooting), especially for a freshman.

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