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Geno Auriemma's Connecticut team avoided the closest thing it has faced to an upset challenge in a long time Monday night at Oklahoma, but the Big East's best men's teams haven't been quite as adept at sidestepping that Acme anvil on the road to the NCAA tournament.

Auriemma's Connecticut counterpart, Jim Calhoun, was responsible for the latest when his team knocked off No. 3 Villanova. But how much does that win, along with Louisville's win at Syracuse and Rutgers' win at Georgetown (Pitt knocking off West Virginia seems like a mild upset at best on the former's home court) really change the landscape for the NCAA tournament?

We've already seen that most of the country thinks the Big East is the best conference in the land, and as much as we like to talk about Cinderella, 62 percent of SportsNation thinks finishing at .500 in the nation's best conference makes a team more deserving of the NCAA tournament than winning a mid-major crown.

Rick (Louisville)

How many more games do the Cardinals need to win to feel safe of garnering an at-large bid?

Joe Lunardi
Joe Lunardi

No worse than .500 in your remaining games, conference tournament included.

Greg (Syracuse)

You still have SU as a 1 seed ...good but surprising. Why didn't they slide to a #2?

Joe Lunardi
Joe Lunardi

In terms of overall profile and level of play, my belief is the Committee would still slot Syracuse no worse than No. 4 (based on records to date, of course). Also, if the Louisville loss had occurred a month ago instead of a day, it probably wouldn't be a question. Full transcript

jay_bilastrator

The Big east is the best conference. Nobody can dispute that. They are like the SEC in football. Every team is good and they just beat each other up throughout the conference season. I'm a Kentucky fan and I still think Kansas, Kentucky and Syracuse are the best teams in the country. Sorry, Nova. You're close but not quite there yet. After Nova, its anybodys guess.

-- jay_bilastrator

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