Having Three Big East One Seeds Makes No Sense

There's no doubt that Louisville, Pittsburgh and Connecticut are great teams

Do we really need three one seeds from the Big East?

There's no doubt that Louisville, Pittsburgh and Connecticut are great teams, but they shouldn't all be top seeds. The argument that three teams from the Big East shouldn't receive one seeds has very little to do with the teams themselves. It has to do with trying to understand what criteria the selection committee is using when it comes up with their seeding.

Neither Connecticut nor Pittsburgh won the Big East regular season title. They didn't win the conference tournament, either. Those triumphs shouldn't be the sole determining factor, but they should play a role large enough that you're rewarded for having done one or the other. The whole point of conferences, both in the regular season and in their tournaments, is to serve as a proving ground for teams that will later be put into a larger pot to determine the overall champion. Ignoring the results borne of conference play is counterintuitive, no matter how good the teams in discussion.

If 21 of 65 teams are coming from the ACC, Big East and Big Ten, it makes sense that all four number one seeds would come from those conferences. If only one comes from the ACC and Big Ten, however, what statement are you making about the quality of the lower-end teams from those conferences? Surely navigating such conference minefields must be worth something?

Putting that aside, if three teams are all judged to be number one seeds there would have to be a lot of difficulty deciding which of them was the best team. Louisville gets a pass from this discussion because they won both the regular season and tournament, but Pittsburgh beat Connecticut twice this season. Head-to-head games are a pretty clear way of determining which of two teams is ahead of the other, but the committee ignored them as well.

At the end of the day, it just doesn't make sense that three teams in direct competition with each other, with clear differences between them, could be judged to be equal to one another. 

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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