Saturday, March 9, 2013

Senior Day in the Big East... A Statisticians Joy!

Today is Senior Day for UL, always an emotional day. I am absolutely NOT looking forward to saying good-bye to Peyton Siva or Gorgui Dieng - it's so fun watching them play. You can tell they love it and the drive comes from within. Both are known for fast breaks, great shots, and a determination to get within the action. They're fearless... They aren't alone, and are joined by Russ Smith, the street-smart kid from New York. It's been a good run.
Amidst all the hoopla, there will be a game to play. Winning means at least a share of the Big East Championship. A share you say? The Big East is a league full of great basketball, and the toughest teams they play are each other.  Georgetown, Louisville, and Marquette are in a three-way tie for first place.Georgetown and Louisville have each lost only one non-conference game, while Marquette lost 3. Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and Notre Dame are in a three-way tie for second place. Oh yes, it's a tangled web And it gets even more complicated...

Syracuse (11-6) is at Georgetown (13-4) noon today, and St. John's (8-9) plays Marquette (13-4) at 2:00, so Louisville would certainly appreciate it if Syracuse would beat Georgetown for us and St. John's beats Marquette.  THIS way, if Louisville (13-4) beats Notre Dame (11-6) at 4:00, the Cards will win the Big East Championship outright. But, Georgetown isn't going to roll over and let Syracuse win on their Senior Day. The only thing I'd bet on (if I bet, which I don't) would be that I expect Marquette to beat St. John's.

Louisville cannot just plan to beat Notre Dame, not by a long shot. And it just might take more than a few long shots to pull it off! Being Senior Day, UL players may be more emotional and Siva has been known to have bad shooting days at times. Remember a few weeks ago when Louisville lost by a few points in a FIVE Overtime game? That was against Notre Dame.

So, by the end of the day, Louisville could win the Big East Season Championship. But they could be  in third place in the conference if Georgetown and Marquette both win today. They'll share the title with 14-4 records.  Or Louisville could share the conference with either of them if we win and only one of them wins. They could all win and thus, keep the 3-way tie for first. I guess at that point it matters who beat who during the season. Any of  the top 3 could be the clear champ.  All three could end the day in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place or a tie for first or second. How would YOU like to be the one trying to figure out the Big East Champ ahead of time? Can't be done.

Is your head spinning yet? All of this and it's "just" the season championship we're addressing. NEXT week, they take the whole show on the road when the Big East Tournament gets underway at Madison Square Gardens.  At that point, it's like starting this weekend all over again. After playing each other all season, the Big East teams are ready to tackle anyone in the NCAA Tournament! Play Ball... and GO CARDS!!!!

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