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How the Big East can go 11 for '11

The nation's best conference might get 11 teams in the tourney this year

Updated: January 18, 2011, 2:20 PM ET
By Joe Lunardi

Look closely and you'll see that this week's bracket is more than a little historic. For the first time ever, we've got 11 teams from a single conference in the projected NCAA field. That's E-L-E-V-E-N, as in I can barely count that high, from the B-I-G East.

The single-season record for bids from a conference is eight, which the post-expansion Big East has produced in two of the past three seasons. A new slogan -- "11 for '11!" -- may be in order if the current landscape holds.

More impressive than the actual number is the proportional dominance the Big East could establish with 11 of its 16 teams (68.8 percent) in the NCAA field. This would trump the 7-for-11 showings (63.6 percent) from the Big Ten in 1994, 1999, 2001 and 2009.

All of which leaves two questions: (1) How likely is this to happen? (2) How would it impact the bracket?

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