Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Big East dominates SEC-Big East Challenge

December 8, 2011 Columns No Comments

We’re still a few weeks shy of the beginning of conference play in the Big East, but this past week gave us some of the best tests these teams will see in the nonconference season with the SEC-Big East Challenge.

These interconference events are great hooks for college basketball fans trying to get out of the malaise of colder weather and bad local football teams. ESPN dreams up match ups that force some teams (cough, cough, Cincinnati) to play at least one decent team before they get into the rough and tumble life of conference play.

This year, the Challenge expanded from its normal eight-team, two-night format to include 24 teams in 12 games over the span of three nights.

Another change included the venues where the games were held. Since 2007, the first year of the Challenge, the event was held on two neutral courts with two games taking place each night a la a conference tournament setting. This year, there were no neutral sites as the SEC hosted eight of the games, and the Big East held home court in the other four.

Taking place on Dec. 1, 2 and 3, many of these big boys from the BCS conferences have been honing their skills while feasting on inferior mid-major competitioin. The SEC-Big East Challenge is designed to snap the players into midseason form, putting them up against competition that they might regularly see in the NCAA or NIT tournaments at the end of the year.

Coming into the week, both conferences had five teams ranked in the AP Top 25, with Marquette being the only team ranked to not take part in the Challenge.

The folks who draw up the schedule did a pretty good job of giving us some solid games, not the least of which was a Top-10 match up between Florida and Syracuse.

The Cuse, which has been mired in a season during which everyone wants to talk about their now-former assistant coach Bernie Fine, has been going about their business pretty impressively, winning their first seven games by an average margin of 26 points.

Of course, the Orange wouldn’t have an easy go about it when No. 10 Florda came calling at the Carrier Dome on Dec. 2. Neither team was able to pull away in the first half with a lead never growing larger than six.

The Gators’ calling card has been the long-range jumper, hitting 43 percent of their three-pointers, but Florida could only manage 3-of-12 in the first half.

Behind solid games from Brandon Triche’s 20 points and Scoop Jardine’s 16 points and seven assists, Syracuse claimed their eighth win of the year 72-68, although the game was an afterthought as coach Jim Boeheim continued to face questions about his former assistant.

The other highly touted matchup was between Louisville and Vanderbilt. Vandy put the Cardinals in a couple bad spots throughout the night. First, with 8:45 remaining, Louisville found themselves down nine points, but then went on a 13-4 run to tie the game at 47 with just over two minutes left in regulation.

Louisville had a good look to win as Peyton Siva dropped a pass off to freshman Chane Behanan who missed a layup as time expired.

The Commodores jumped out to another lead – this time by five points – in overtime. But the Cards, in front of their home crowd, were able to get back into the game on the back of some stellar play from Siva and Kyle Kuric, who hit a three with just under a minute remaining to give the Cards a one-point lead.

Tied at 60 with under 10 seconds remaining, Siva drove and decided to take the shot himself, making the game-winning layup with 1.4 seconds left on the clock. Louisville won 62-60 in OT.

Other games of note were Georgetown’s impressive 57-55 win over No. 12 Alabama. Hollis Thompson hit a long three with 1.8 seconds remaining to give the Hoyas their sixth win of the season. Cincinnati finally showed that they do have a decent team, going on the road to beat Georgia in Athens, 57-51. Seton Hall beat Auburn 81, 59; UConn beat Arkansas 75-62; and Pittsburgh beat Tennessee 61-56.

The Big East won eight of the 12 games, winning the Challenge for the second time. Over the five-year span of the Challenge, the Big East leads the series 2-1-2.

Comment on this Article:







Advertisement


Your Phil of Hoops

What Kentucky gave us will be forgotten, and that’s too bad

April 5, 2015 by

kentucky

Most people are going to remember Kentucky in 2014-15 more for the one loss than the 38 wins and the journey that came with it. That’s the most unfortunate thing of all.

A happy resolution comes in Delaware

April 1, 2015 by

delaware

There has finally been a resolution to Monte Ross’ contract situation, and it’s a happy one for the Blue Hens’ head coach and his staff after the work they have done to rebuild the program.

Fran Dunphy deals with bubble uncertainty for the first time

March 15, 2015 by

temple

Temple is firmly on the bubble after losing in the American Athletic Conference Tournament to SMU. It’s the first time in head coach Fran Dunphy’s storied career that his team has been in this situation.

Hoopville Archives

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed listening to COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT, a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, joined by former St. John's and George Washington head coach Mike Jarvis, former Fairfield head coach Terry O'Connor and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 15, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 22, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 29, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

April 5, 2015 - First hour | Second hour | Third hour

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

We look back at more from the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale, where some of the championship games were worth the price of admission.

A big championship day for a local program at the Hoopville Spring Finale

June 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-yellow

The 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale saw a number of good championship games on Sunday to close it out, and we start our look back with a look at those games.

Player highlights from Mass Elite and Boston Warriors college showcase

June 4, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

Two big programs, Mass Elite and the Boston Warriors, got together once again on a college showcase for many of their high school players. We look at some who stood out on the evening.

2015 Massachusetts AAU Tournament notes

June 3, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Massachusetts held its AAU championship rounds in a few age groups and its entire tournament for the oldest age group this weekend. We take a look at some of Sunday’s action in Foxboro.

adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis – Sunday notes

April 29, 2015 by

adidasuprising

Sunday was the conclusion of the adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis, and we take a look at some of the players who shined on a day that saw a few games that weren’t very competitive.