Dec Roundtable: What will the final Big East standings be?

I. Team review, so far | II. Surprise Big East team | III. Most disappointing Big East team | IV. Player surprises/ disappointments | V. How will the Big East teams finish?

Big East play starts tonight! With Connecticut and Pittsburgh playing tonight, the Big East kicks off 3 months of bare knuckle basketball, snowy scenes outside of arenas, talk of contenders and talk of pretenders. With that in mind, I asked the Big East bloggers to give their order of finish for this season in the league. Many departed from the preseason Big East poll done on this site, others clung stubbornly to their predictions.

We'll probably all be wrong. The league has a number of teams with hot starts... but facing top of the line competition every single game has a way of exposing flaws.

Here is the crew - and this time, we have a rep for each of the 16 teams in the league:

Cincinnati Bearcats Blog (Twitter) | Connecticut The UConn Blog (Twitter) | DePaul Chicago College Basketball (Twitter) | Georgetown Casual Hoya (Twitter) | Hoya Prospectus | Louisville UofL Card Game | Marquette Cracked Sidewalks (Twitter) | Notre Dame Rakes of Mallow (Twitter) | Pittsburgh Cardiac Hill (Twitter) | Providence Friar Basketball (Twitter) | Rutgers On the Banks (Twitter) | Seton Hall South Orange Juice (Twitter) | St. John's The East Coast Bias (Twitter) | South Florida Voodoo Five (Twitter) | Villanova Villanova by the Numbers | VUHoops (Twitter) | The Nova Blog (Twitter) | Syracuse Orange::44 (Twitter) | West Virginia The Smoking Musket (Twitter)

And the question for today:

What do you think the order of finish in Big East play will be? Consider that some teams aren't going to be as good when facing Big East talent, and some teams might improve.

The answers and methodology of the aggregate answers, after the jump>>

In compiling the answers, I realized a few bloggers sent their submissions in by tiers. Makes sense; a number of teams often finish near each other in the standings, separated by a single bad game or great game, or even by a bounce of a ball. The fourth team is often statistically similar to the third, and 14th and 16th teams are sometimes separated by a lucky draw in mirror opponents. So I list each participating bloggers' list as they submitted it, but put the aggregate results in tiers, where the first team means a finish in the 1-4 range, and so forth.

Each team with a 1-4 listing received 4 points; those with a 5-8 listing received 2 points, et cetera. And then they were grouped with the numbers of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place votes added to the table below. The results didn't have wild deviation. A trio of teams straddled tiers - Cincinnati, Connecticut, and Providence. Otherwise, we seem to have some general ranges based on what we've seen in the non-conference.

The results?

Voting By Tiers
Tier Team
Points
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
First Syracuse
63
15
1
0
0
Pittsburgh
62
14
2
0
0
Villanova
62
14
2
0
0
Georgetown
61
13
3
0
0
Second Connecticut
55
7
9
0
0
Louisville
47
0
15
1
0
Notre Dame
47
0
15
1
0
West Virginia
46
1
12
3
0
Third Marquette
36
0
4
12
0
Cincinnati
33
0
1
15
0
St. John's
28
0
0
12
4
Providence
25
0
0
9
7
Fourth Seton Hall
25
0
0
9
7
Rutgers
18
0
0
2
14
South Florida
16
0
0
0
16
DePaul
16
0
0
0
16

First place vote-getters: Connecticut, Georgetown, Pittsburgh (the most with 7 first place votes), Syracuse, Villanova.

The individual responses:

Bearcats Blog (Twitter)

1) Georgetown
2) Pittsburgh
3) Villanova
4) Syracuse
5) Connecticut
6) Louisville
7) West Virginia
8) Notre Dame
9) Marquette
10) Cincinnati
11) Seton Hall
12) St John's
13) Rutgers
14) Providence
15) South Florida
16) DePaul

Cardiac Hill (Twitter)

1. UConn
2. Pitt
3. Syracuse
4. Villanova
5. Georgetown
6. Notre Dame
7. Louisville
8. Marquette
9. West Virginia
10. Cincinnati
11. Providence
12. Seton Hall
13. Rutgers
14. St. John's
15. South Florida
16. DePaul

Casual Hoya (Twitter)

Thank you for adding that consideration in the last part of your question, because that's all I needed to drop the Orange where I think they will finish.

1) Pitt
2) Georgetown
3) Villanova
4) Syracuse
5) UConn
6) West Virginia
7) Notre Dame
8) Louisville
9) Marquette
10) St. John's
11) Cincinnati
12) Seton Hall
13) Providence
14) Rutgers
15) USF
16) TCU
17) DePaul

Chicago College Basketball (Twitter)

1. Pittsburgh
2. Villanova
3. Georgetown
4. Syracuse
5. Connecticut
6. West Virginia
7. Notre Dame
8. Louisville
9. Marquette
10. Cincinnati
11. St. John's
12. Providence
13. Seton Hall
14. Rutgers
15. South Florida
16. DePaul
17. TCU (if they were here)

Cracked Sidewalks (Twitter)

Pitt
Syracuse
Villanova
UConn
Georgetown
Louisville
Notre Dame
WVU
MU
Cincy
Providence
Seton Hall
St. John's
USF
Rutgers
DePaul

The East Coast Bias (Twitter)

I stay near my preseason predictions:

1. Pitt
2. Villanova
3. Georgetown
4. Syracuse
5. West Virginia
6. Louisville
7. Notre Dame
8. Connecticut
9. Marquette
10. St. John’s
11. Cincinnati
12. Providence
13. Seton Hall
14. Rutgers
15. DePaul
16. South Florida

Friar Basketball (Twitter)

Syracuse
Pitt
Connecticut
Georgetown
Villanova
Notre Dame
Marquette
Louisville
WVU
Providence
St. John's
Cincinnati
Seton Hall
USF
Rutgers
DePaul

Hoya Prospectus

1. Pitt
2. Syracuse
3. Georgetown
4. WVU
5. Connecticut
6. Villanova
7. Notre Dame
8. Louisville
9. Marquette
10. Cincy
11. Seton Hall
12. St. John's
13. Providence
14. South Florida
15. Rutgers
16. DePaul

I think the BE gets eight in certainly, with Louisville, Cincy and Marquette playing bubble teams (and I hate that I have Marquette at 9 - aren't they better than that?).

Rutgers is a very fine 15, and I think DePaul is the only truly easy out in the conference this year.

The Nova Blog (Twitter)

I'll get killed for this I'm sure, but I think Villanova will improve.

1. Villanova
2. Pittsburgh
3. UCONN
4. Syracuse
5. Georgetown
6. Cincinnati
7. Louisville
8. Notre Dame
9. West Virginia
10. Providence
11. Marquette
12. Rutgers
13. St. John's
14. Seton Hall
15. South Florida
16. DePaul

On the Banks (Twitter)

Pitt
Nova
Georgetown
Syracuse
UConn
West Virginia
Notre Dame
Louisville
Marquette
Seton Hall
Cincinnati
St. John's
USF
Rutgers
Providence
DePaul

Orange::44 (Twitter)

Top 4: Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Villanova

5-8: Connecticut, Louisville, Notre Dame, West Virginia

9-12: Cincinnati, Marquette, Seton Hall, St. John’s

Bottom 4: DePaul, Providence, Rutgers, South Florida

These were my predictions over the summer and I’ll stand by them as I haven’t seen anything so far that could change my mind. Of course that could always change in the conference. The most likely might be St. John’s dropping to the bottom 4 and possibly Connecticut bumping down a team to take a top 4 spot. Other than that I’m fairly confident the season will finish pretty close to this save some epic runs or collapses.

Rakes of Mallow (Twitter)

Syracuse
Pitt
Georgetown
Villanova
West Virginia
UConn
Louisville
Notre Dame
Marquette
Providence
Cincy
St. John’s
Seton Hall
Rutgers
South Florida
DePaul

The Smoking Musket (Twitter)

If I get this right, what do I win?

1. UConn
2. Syracuse
3. Villanova
4. Georgetown
5. Pitt
6. Louisville
7. West Virginia
8. Notre Dame
9. Providence
10. Cincinnati
11. Marquette
12. St. Johns
13. Seton Hall
14. South Florida
15. DePaul
16. Rutgers

South Orange Juice (Twitter)

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The UConn Blog (Twitter)

I like Georgetown, Syracuse and Pitt to finish in some order in the top three. Notre Dame, Marquette, Louisville and West Virginia will also finish in the top half.

I'm more pessimistic than some, but I think UConn is going to have a rude awakening playing night-in, night-out against good teams, and I'll peg them for 11-7/10-8 and somewhere between 5th-8th place in the league unless they get 1) big-time contributions from Shabazz Napier and/or Jeremy Lamb and 2) a big man to pair with Alex Oriakhi to shore up any potential rebounding issues.

Cincinnati to finish 9th and near the NCAA bubble, and the rest will enjoy the NIT and such.

UofL Card Game:

UConn
Pittsburgh
Georgetown
Villanova
Syracuse
Louisville
West Virginia
Marquette
Seton Hall
St. John's
Cincinnati
Notre Dame
DePaul
Rutgers
South Florida
Providence

Villanova by the Numbers

I plan to redo my "quartiles" projection in about a week or so. I still think most of the teams in the first quartile (GTown, Pitt, Villanova) and fourth quartile (DePaul, Providence, Rutgers and South Florida) are about right, but I am not sure about West Virginia. Syracuse has had a strong early season and I like the way Scoop Jardine has matured. I did not factor Fab Melo into my initial projections (big men almost always need time), so his lack of progress is not a problem for me.

The middle two quartiles (ranks #5 through #8) are always a problem, and they are again this season. Cincinnati (3rd quartile), Connecticut (3rd quartile), Notre Dame (3rd quartile) doing better than anticipated, while Marquette (2nd quartile) and St. John’s (2nd quartile) are struggling a bit to this point. I think Notre Dame and Cincinnati will "return to earth", but the Red Storm will probably struggle to stay around the upper/lower division boundary.

Voodoo Five (Twitter)

1. Syracuse
2. UConn
3. Villanova
4. Georgetown
5. Pitt
6. Louisville
7. Notre Dame
8. West Virginia
9. Marquette
10. Cincinnati
11. St. Johns
12. Rutgers
13. Providence
14. USF
15. Seton Hall
16. DePaul

VUHoops (Twitter)

I'm still really just guessing. I'd be surprised if DePaul isn't last or Rutgers is much higher than 11th. Beyond that, nothing would shock me in league play

1) Pitt
2) Villanova
3) Georgetown
4) Syracuse
5) UConn
6) Notre Dame
7) West Virginia
8) Marquette
9 Louisville
10) Cincinnati
11) Providence
12) Seton Hall / St. Johns
14) Rutgers
15) USF
16) DePaul

Transplanted New Yorker and now Midwesterner Peter a/k/a Pico writes for Johnny Jungle, doing the Calm Before the Storm posts and also for the Church of Bracketology. Pico is also on Twitter, @ECoastBias. Add the East Coast Bias to your rss link.rss feeds; or follow by email linkemail.

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