Elmhurst Pub Roundtable

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Another Friars Rant...

So just when you think that they may be on the verge of forcing Welsh out, he wins a game. It's uncanny how this guy can do this. Let's set the stage for the final games of the season. The Friars, as of last Friday, had 5 games remaining - Cinci, USF, ND, Pitt, and Marquette. In all seriousness, they probably need three of these games. Immediately, they go out and lose a close one at Cinci. Who didn't see that coming? Sure, Cinci is a tough team and it was on the road, but this is a winnable game. Obviously, this game does have good things. The Friars dominated inside, as the Cinci D tried to key on McGrath (who still ended up with 16). And the freshmen continue to play well. That brings us to last night. A loss last night to a winless USF team would have been unforgivable. So, of course, they go out and take it to them and the Friars win by nearly 20.

But that sets the stage for tonite. Here's how the bottom of the Big East breaks down:

The Bottom 7:

South Florida - 0 and 13
Depaul - 3 and 9
Notre Dame - 4 and 9
St. John's - 5 and 9
Louisville - 4 and 8
Providence - 5 and 8
Rutgers - 5 and 8

What's the biggest game right now? PC vs. ND. They don't win that game, they don't go to the tourney. It basically becomes that simple. The bottom 4 will not make the tourney. We can safely put South Florida in that category. PC has a game lead on ND, 1.5 on Depaul, .5 on Louisville and SJ, and holds the tie-breaker over Rutgers. But this is as cluttered as it gets right now. PC won't beat Pitt at Pitt, mark it down. Marquette is playing great ball right now, so that will be a struggle. That leaves the ND game. Which would give them 2 wins and a 2 game lead on ND. should PC go 6-10 in the league, that should be good enough, but it opens a bunch of tie breaker formulas. If they lose all three, that would put ND ahead of them, probably Rutgers and St. John's as well. Makes it tough. How Louisville plays down the stretch also factors into this equation.

My bet: USF, DePaul, St. John's and ND miss out and PC makes it by the skin of their teeth.

Now that I've said that, here's what will happen: Louisville, PC, USF and DePaul miss out, making for a tournament without one of the league's marquee teams. If this happens, the embarassment to the program alone should call for Welsh to resign. If they make it and flame out again, well we can add to the record of one Big East tournment win in 8 years. Tim better keep these frosh happy, it's his only hope at this point.

Couple other notes:
--Has there ever been a more unpredictable league? You have to bring it every night in the Big East at this point. WVU is tough, but beatable, UConn nearly lost last night to ND at home, and G'town has to be the surprise of the league at this point.
--I hate Ted Sorandis. Just want to make that perfectly clear.
--I hate Boston College more every day. Just making the point.
--I'm tired of Manny being Manny. You're being paid $20 million a year. Show up and be happy. You play out the contract.
--Schilling thinks Lester is mature so far beyond his years that the kid could be a #2 or 3 guy on a staff today. I'm getting goosebumps about what a healthy rotation will look like 2 years from now - Beckett, Papelbon, Lester, Wakefield, Arroyo (In theory, and I know I'm missing a young pitcher in there).

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