Big East Loses Big Time

Upsets include No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 1 Pittsburgh
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2011 6:13 AM CDT
Big East Loses Big in NCAA Tournament
Notre Dame guard Ben Hansbrough (23) and the rest of the team walk off the court with their heads down after a second-round loss to Florida State in the NCAA Southwest Regional tournament.   (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)

The Big East is the Big Least so far in this year's NCAA tournament, reports the New York Times. After a record-setting 11 Big East Conference teams qualified for the men's basketball tournament, now only two remain. “The results obviously aren’t what we were hoping for,” said the league commissioner. Among those bounced early: No. 1 seed Pittsburgh, No. 4 Louisville, and, last night, No. 2 Notre Dame, which lost to 10th-seeded Florida State. “They flat-out outplayed us.” said Notre Dame coach Mike Brey.

Only No. 3 seed Connecticut and No. 11 Marquette advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, and it has some questioning whether or not the Big East had too many spots in this year's tourney—it had so many, in fact, that its team played each other in two Round of 32 games. "You don’t validate or justify anything like tournament selection or seeding based on what actually happened in the tournament. It’s based on the regular season, and whatever happens in the tournament, happens," said one expert. (More NCAA men's basketball tournament stories.)

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