Notre Dame demonstrated yesterday why a deep bench is necessary in this league. Similar to G'town, they have only one bench player worthy of time on the court. Last night in a fast-paced game against Louisville, their legs gave out from under them, and they managed to convert only one field goal in the last twelve minutes of the game. And then they lost. And then I found five dollars.
Cuse tomorrow. Can't really ever say anything positive about them. They are all guard play with undersized, over-achieving forwards. Flynn is their only real threat to drive and they have a lot of "thugs" in the box that can rebound. They haven't been playing their 2-3 zone as much as they usually do but I expect they will play it a lot against us, considering our only consistent scoring threats so far in Big East play are Monroe and Summers. I have pretty much given up on Sapp so we need Wright to match Flynn and Monroe to dominate Onuaku. They are a very poor free throw shooting team (under 65%) which could give us an advantage later in the game. In the last three games we have consistently failed in one key fundamental. Rebounds against Pitt, free throws against ND and turnovers against Providence. Can't really afford to let any of those happen against Cuse. And since Boeheim really has no control over his players, expect a lot of trash talking with the fans. Don't get too involved with Cheddar Bob, he might punch the girls around you. Can't spell ASSAULT without SU.
Meanwhile, Mr. Magoo is already prepping for his annual Selection Sunday speech. The address, delivered in a nasal, whinny tone, contends that everyone hates his team and he gets no respect. He then claims that despite undeserving credentials, his team should be granted a free pass to the NCAA Tournament. Boeheim gave us a preview of this year's speech last month.
Over 18 games, I’d say we play probably the toughest schedule in the Big East. We’ve got Georgetown twice, we’ve got Villanova twice, and last I looked they were both ranked in the top 15 in the country. Our double games are pretty hard. We have to go to Pittsburgh, Connecticut and Marquette, and last I looked they were 1, 5 and 15. So when you look at schedules, you look at the 18-game Big East schedule, I’d say we’ve got the toughest schedule.Well let's see about that Boeheim. Cause I'm a math nerd I built a little model to calculate the Big East Strength of Schedule for each of the top nine teams as per the average of the AP and Coaches' Polls. Listed below are the teams, rankings and opponents
- Pittsburgh (avg. ranking #1)
Home Games: UConn, WVU, Cuse, Marquette, ND
Away Games: UConn, WVU, G'town, Louisville, Nova
- Connecticut (avg. ranking #4)
Home Games: Pitt, ND, G'town, Cuse, Nova
Away Games: Pitt, ND, Louisville, Marquette, WVU
- Syracuse (avg. ranking #8)
Home Games: G'town, Nova, WVU, ND, Louisville
Away Games: G'town, Nova, Pitt, UConn, Marquette
- Georgetown (avg. ranking #12.5)
Home Games: Cuse, Marquette, Pitt, WVU, Louisville
Away Games: Cuse, Marquette, UConn, ND, Nova
- Notre Dame (avg. ranking #12.5)
Home Games: UConn, Louisville, G'town, Marquette, Nova
Away Games: UConn, Louisville, Cuse, Pitt, WVU
- Marquette (avg. ranking #14)
Home Games: G'town, Nova, Cuse, UConn, WVU
Away Games: G'town, Nova, Pitt, Louisville, ND
- Louisville (avg. ranking #20)
Home Games: WVU, ND, Pitt, UConn, Marquette
Away Games:WVU, ND, G'town, Cuse, Nova
- Villanova (avg. ranking #22.5)
Home Games: Cuse, Marquette, G'town, Pitt, Louisville
Away Games:Cuse, Marquette, UConn, WVU, ND
- West Virginia (avg. ranking #37)
Home Games: Pitt, Louisville, UConn, Nova, ND
Away Games: Pitt, Louisville, G'town, Cuse, Marquette
I applied a simple formula:
Sum of opponents' rankings for home games x 1.5 + Sum of opponents' rankings for away games x 1.0.
The team with the lowest resulting figure has the hardest schedule, since they would play the most lower-seeded teams. Similar to RPI, I give more credit for a tougher road schedule than home schedule.
The results aren't very surprising given Boeheim's tendency to exaggerate, whine and complain without reason. Also, considering the fact that Boeheim himself is graduate of Syracuse, faulty and incorrect mental processing should be expected.
Toughest Big East Schedules as per January 12, 2009:
1 -West Virginia
2 - Villanova
3 - Connecticut
4 - Notre Dame
5 - Georgetown
6 - Marquette
7 - Louisville
8 - Pittsburgh
9 - Syracuse
Remarkable that Cuse comes out even below Pitt, which doesn't have the luxury of playing a #1 ranked team and lowering their schedule rating. You can't spell EXCUSE without CUSE.