So the Big East Championship tonight comes down to the two teams we expected all along, Syracuse vs. Notre Dame. Wait, what was that?
Let me start over. So the Big East Championship tonight come down to the two teams we weren’t expecting all along, Cincinnati vs. Louisville. The Bearcats did the impossible and upset Syracuse, while Louisville routed the Irish to earn their spot in the Finals. Take nothing away from these two teams, they’re playing the best basketball in the whole conference. I suppose it’s somewhat fitting that with the ever-changing college conference landscape, the Big East Final comes down to two teams west of the Appalachian Mountains.
The other big upset on Friday came in the Big 12 Conference, as the Baylor Bears knocked off one of the eventual #1 seeds in next week’s tournament, the Kansas Jayhawks. The Bears were an upstart team at the beginning of the year but fell off a little as the season wore on. It’s great to see this team step up on a bigger stage against a talented team. I’m specifically happy for their much-maligned star, Perry Jones III. An eventual top pick in June’s NBA draft, PG3 has received a good deal of criticism for his inconsistent play. Ever since I read Jason King’s fantastic profile on Perry Jones III and his struggles growing up, he’s now become someone I root for regularly. I think it’s important to remember that all the players in these games are still just kids with the weight of the world on their shoulders.
Several of the conferences will finish their tournaments today, and the rest will wrap up tomorrow morning/afternoon. After that, we finally get to the good stuff: the brackets. I will be checking back in to give my thoughts on the bracket and see if we can use StubHub ticket statistics to make any sense of March Madness.