Even though we're all fixated on the huge best-of-three series against the Washington State Cougars, let's spend a short time looking at the four remaining Big East teams in the BIG Dance - Syracuse, Marquette, Louisville and Cincinnati. I'm not going to lay out a preview for you, because there are much smarter and more important people to handle that. But I'd like to offer up where my rooting interest lies over these next few weeks.
Rankings are in order of most tolerable to least tolerable:
- Marquette - I mean, how can you not love Buzz? Happy go-lucky, decent dancer, scratchy voice and the antithesis to Boeheim. Buzz's teams have always given Pitt fits, with their up-tempo style and great guard play. Speaking of guards, we all remember the D-Wade NCAA tournament game, which was really coached by Wade, just with Tom Crean standing on the sidelines, his second grader hair flopping all around. Bottom line: You can't really hate Marquette, other than they are in Milwaukee, home of the Brewers, and home to the team that waxes the Pirates every year.
- Cincinnati - Yeah, yeah they got in a fight, hurt some people and did some bad things. The brawl even benefited us; we didn't have to face Yancy Gates in our New Years' Day matchup. But, yeah, we still lost. You have to respect what Mick Cronin has done to bring the team back from the brink. We couldn't recover from a freshman transfer and a groin strain around the same time. Good for the Bearcats and I hope they beat their in-state rival, Ohio State.
- Louisville - Rick Pitino, still spouting off on our departure to the ACC, has always struck me as arrogant and self-serving. Any man in such a power position will be like this, but he's just too weasel-ish for me. The white suits, the paid abortion scandal, the delusional move back to the state of Kentucky and having Ralph Willard on your bench, leave me with nothing else to say but, "Go Spartans!"
- Syracuse - The Grimacer. The Whiner. In contrast to Buzz Williams, how can you not dislike Jim Boeheim? Seriously, unless you are a fan of Syracuse, nobody can truly enjoy listening to a press conference with this guy. Just as it is with Hines Ward, everyone outside of Pittsburgh really despises this guy. He gives the Black and Gold a bad name. And, Boeheim, through the whole Bernie Fine scandal, dug himself a hole with every ignorant and condescending remark. While they probably have that most talent and best chance at winning it all and repping the Big East, I'd be delighted to see Bucky the Badger advance tonight.