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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

How would an expansion of the BIG EAST affect women's basketball?

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TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE:

-The pros and cons of BIG EAST expansion on BIG EAST WBB

-First blog entry up about Canada trip

WE recently had an interesting debate with CARDINAL COUPLE special correspondent David Watson on the eventual expansion of the BIG EAST conference and how it would affect the 16 (soon to be 17) schools that
field women's basketball teams.

First of all, we must realize that any expansion is being done basically to
Got room for another?
provide a punch to the football part of the BIG EAST. Women's basketball is a mere afterthought in terms of expansion ramifications and probably falls behind the gridiron and men's hoops in terms of relevance. That being said, the pros (from Paul) and the cons (from David) are played out below...

SURE, let's bring in a few more...

Growth is good. Why not expand this thing to 20 women's basketball teams? Divide the conference up for women's hoops into two divisions...play everyone in your division once, play half the schools in the other division once every two years and allow conference members to schedule some more out-of-conference match ups. Let Louisville add an Indiana, Tennessee, Duke, Purdue and Georgia on a home and away basis. 14 games is plenty to decide a division winner and bring in the top eight teams from each division for a conference tournament...somewhere besides Hartford.

Who would I include? Memphis, ECU and UCF. These make the most sense...football wise and since none of the three are tipping the women's college basketball world on their side...it balances out the weak sisters on the east coast....Providence, Seton Hall and Villanova. How would I break it down? Let's go this way...regionally.

EASTERN DIVISION
Connecticut
Seton Hall
St. John's
Rutgers
Providence
Syracuse
Villanova
Georgetown
Pittsburgh
ECU



CENTRAL DIVISION
Louisville
Cincinnati
South Florida
Central Florida
Memphis
Marquette
Notre Dame
DePaul
TCU
West Virginia

I know, the Mountaineers are probably going to whine about a Central Division placement. ECU is going to get killed in an Eastern Division alignment. Swap 'em if you want. But, geographically...the above sets make the most sense. Of course, when has the BIG EAST ever made sense? 

-Paul

DON"T YOU GO CHANGING...

How about a few more women's basketball teams
Mr. Marinatto?
Don't you think you've had enough? The infamous "bean scene" from BLAZING SADDLES pretty much says it all. Seventeen schools in a basketball conference is ridiculous. Especially when half of them will never have a shot at the women's conference title. Raising your eyebrows on that last statement? Fine. I'll give you Cincinnati, Seton Hall, Providence, Villanova, Marquette, USF, St. John's and Pittsburgh. Show me a title contender there.
Given the last two years of Louisville increased fandom on the West Coast, let's bring in Gonzaga, Portland and Oregon State and dump Cincinnati, Seton Hall and Providence.  I'd wager the win/loss % would increase and don't give me the story about regional ramifications. Since when did TCU or Louisville ever qualify as "east coast" locations?


 The future of the BIG EAST in women's basketball is located on the banks of the Ohio River and it's wearing a red Cardinal jersey and black shorts. It's nestled in the mean streets of Hartford, underneath the Golden Dome and Touchdown Jesus in South Bend and lurking in the RAC in Piscataway. It's singing "Country Roads" in Morgantown and "Sweet Home Chicago" on the DePaul campus. It's laying beneath the Washington monument.Toss in Syracuse if you want, but please try to get at least a 1000 or so in the Carrier Dome if you want to join this club.  

Call it Snow White (UConn) and the Seven Dwarfs (UofL, ND, DePaul, Georgetown, Rutgers, WVU and the Cuse). But close the door and don't let any other half-rate, struggling to reach .500 and lower echelon DI women's basketball pretenders (see: UCF, Temple, ECU, Memphis..et al) to pollute the waters any further.

Unless they can play decent football, of course.

-David

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In case you haven't seen it yet, the first blog on the Lady Cards trip to Oregon and Canada has been posted at UofL Sports.com. Here's a link:

http://www.uoflsports.com/

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