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April 3, 2006

Hoops: Big East vs. SEC Challenge?

On the hoops front, Steve at the Georgia Slog has found a really interesting link. Apparently the SEC and Big East are in serious discussions regarding a possible SEC /Big East Challenge (Source: NY Daily News). The ACC / Big 10 Challenge has been going strong for several years.

Might we see Mercer vs. a quality Big East team soon?

I like the idea; although, I agree with Steve that the Big 12 makes better sense. Something is better than nothing, and the Big East offers more teams for the SEC to pick from. However, I worry about the Big East wanting to structure the challenge as a Top 8 vs. Top 8 instead of 12 vs. 12 or 12 vs. 16.

Steve proposed his matchups, and I've got my list below. We agree on some and not on others.

Big TV Games:
UK vs. Cincy
- Great regional proximity. UK played Cincy regularly until the late 1940s. Then they went 40 years without playing each other. The schools are located about 90 miles apart. UK already plays Lville so I don't think that would be part of the Challenge. Syracuse would also make sense here as a rematch of the 1996 national title game.

UF vs. UConn
- These teams have combined for 4 appearances in the Final Four over the past 8 years

UT vs. Louisville
- Great regional proximity. They've played a couple of times recently, but I don't think it's a long term deal.

Bama vs. Pitt
- Have played several times recently in the regular season.

LSU vs. Villanova
- Contrasts of styles can make interesting games.

Arkansas vs. Syracuse
- Two historically strong programs that I don't remember matching up very often.

Decent TV Games:
Vandy vs. Notre Dame
- Rematch of this year's NIT game. Decent regional matchup.

SC vs. St. Johns
- Nobody knows the way to NYC like the Gamecocks. I think they've been to Madison Square Garden 3 times in the past 4 years for the NIT.

MSU vs. West Virginia
- Miss State has been strong the past few years. This year was hopefully an exception. These guys have already scheduled each other in football starting in 2006. Why not add a basketball series?

Bad TV Games:
Georgia at Georgetown
- They would have us job out a road game. Felton would love this game. He would be in earth tone gray jersey heaven. St. Johns would also make sense for Georgia as a rematch of the 1983 Sweet 16 game. Plus, Sundiata Gaines is an NYC kid.

AU at Marquette
- Really, any old Big East team would do for this jobber game.

Ole Miss at Seton Hall
- Another Jobber game for the SEC team.

UGA is in such dire need of a scheduling upgrade that I wouldn't care which Big East team we got. Just get us somebody.



Anonymous said...

I didn't include the Johnnies because of the recent events involving the team and the lack of exposure they have received as of late. Rutgers is always good for an interesting game at the RAC. I think that Bama vs. Pitt is a good matchup. You can definitely move some of the matchups around and still have good results. I wouldn't want to see South Carolina and St. John's play each other... a rematch of the Cocks and Bearcats from the NIT would be quite entertaining as I suggested. West Virginia-Georgia is a longshot matchup, but I think a lot of UGA fans would like to get retribution in some way.

Anonymous said...

maybe UGA should get a better bball team, this is the 2nd time in the past few years one of our main rivals are in the championship game, lets hope Florida doesnt win. GO UCLA... but more important GO UGA SPRING FOOTBALL!!

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