One of the most impossible things to do is win the Big East Tournament. Especially if you find yourself playing the first night. Not that it hasn't been done before. But the likelihood is almost zero. In some ways, winning this tournament is more challenging than winning the NCAA tournament. The only saving grace is that these teams know each other and already have a plan in place on how to attack and defend each other. But no matter what path you take to the championship round, you've gone through a murder's row to get there.
Although there are some faces in the first round we're not used to seeing, it's not a mistake that they find themselves playing in the first round. These are the sacrificial lambs of the Big East. The little people, if you will. Given his past success, Jim Calhoun would have you believe he's right where he wants to be. But you know, whatever gets you through the day, Jimbo. I don't think it's happening this year. Jamie Dixon seems more than a little out of place and Jay Wright has had that "WTF" look on his face all year. The perception is that the Big East is down this year with these three perennial heavyweights in the bottom half of the final standings. The truth is, outside of Syracuse's regular season dominance, this might be the most competitive the conference has been top to bottom.
I fully expect at least two of these teams will still be playing Thursday. There's just too many good teams in this conference to not expect a few upsets. It's the beauty of this tournament. If you're a basketball fan at all, this is the start of the most wonderful time of the year. I have no regrets about leaving the Big East for the Big 12. But I'm going to miss being part of this tournament and all the great memories it has provided. Hopefully West Virginia has a couple more great moments up their sleeve before we say our last goodbye.