Big East Notebook
The Whole F’n Game!
If you haven’t heard about the thrilling Notre Dame-Georgetown game from last Saturday, I’ld like to know what it’s like living under a rock. Notre Dame beat the the Hoyas in DC, despite a 35 point, 20 rebound performance from big man Mike Sweetney (oh, and to go along with that, Sweetney only pitched in six assists and six rebounds). The big story, however was Notre Dame freshman Chris Thomas. Thomas, one of the best freshmen in the nation, had 22 points and 12 assists and played in ALL 60 MINUTES! Three other Irish contributed double-doubles in what has to be considered one of the best games of the year as the Irish and Hoyas combined for a Big East record 227 points.
For Whom the Bell Tolls
The Boston College Eagles have been sliding, and might not have been in the NCAA Tournament if the selections were made last week. After losing five of seven, Sunday they hosted Miami in what amounted to a must win game. Troy Bell, who carried the Eagles to a Big East title last year, stepped up against the Hurricanes, scoring 24 points and dishing out six assists. Then, on Wednesday, Bell scored 39 points to lead the Eagles to a win against Providence. Bell connected on seven-of-ten from behind the three point arc in the win. BC now hits a very difficult stretch, beginning Saturday as the Eagles will face Connecticut twice in a nine day span, with games against St. John’s and Villanova sandwiched in between.
Syracuse looked like a lock for the Tournament back in mid-January. The Orangemen were 16-2 coming off a win against Notre Dame but then things went south (and I’m not only talking about travelling from Syracuse to Knoxville) as Syracuse lost to Tennessee 66-62. Since then, Syracuse has lost five of their last seven games and are finding themselves squarely on the bubble. Syracuse may have hit rock bottom in their home loss on Sunday to Pittsburgh. The Orangemen led by as much as 14 in the second half but could not hold on to the lead. Three of their last five games are on the road, but all are winnable (Notre Dame, Seton Hall and Villanova). With home games remaining against Georgetown and BC, Syracuse may need to take all three road game or find themselves with one more home game – in the NIT.
Tech-nically not a Good Road Team
Congratulations to Virginia Tech, who won their first road game as a member of the Big East on Sunday. Sure, they just beat West Virginia, but a win’s a win. The Hokies have played well at home, defeating Boston College in Blacksburg, and giving scares to Villanova, St. John’s and Connecticut. The Hokies have the chance to play the role of spoiler as they still host Rutgers before the season gets out.