If you missed it, One Minute Remaining did a post recently speculating which teams will join the Catholic Seven as they break away from the Big East in the next few years. With this in mind, what if someone simulated a conference season for the new Big East league that is forming out of exiting schools? OMR thought it would be interesting interesting to see who the best teams would be.
- 1 sim per game. Simulations were done using whatifsports.com. We don’t care who should win, just who did in fantasy land (example: Georgetown could drop one on the road to DePaul). We’re fine with results like that because they do happen. The site WILL re-sim the matchups if you refresh, so don’t expect the similar scores as ours.
- Xavier, Butler, SLU, Dayton, and Creighton are the teams joining Georgetown, St. John’s, Villanova, DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall, and Providence based off of the ESPN report released last week. OMR thought it would be more interesting to simulate the full conference that will reported go into effect for the 2014 season. There are other teams in consideration, of course, but those are the most likely.
- East and West Divisions. The divisions only matter for scheduling purposes and to minimize travel. The East division is made up by Georgetown, St. John’s, Villanova, Providence, Seton Hall, Dayton, and Providence while the West Division includes DePaul, Marquette, Xavier, Butler, SLU, and Creighton. Dayton was shipped off to the East division for geographical balance. If the Big East were to add another eastern team instead of Creighton, i.e. Richmond, the divisions would better balanced. Even though the rest of the East Division teams would probably enjoy the opportunity to play at Xavier annually, OMR believes in geographical splits and Dayton is farther east than Cincinnati. Sorry, Georgetown. It’s geography.
- 2011-2012 conference season simulated. Since whatifsports.com only records the previous year’s stats, OMR was forced to use their most recent information. The non-conference results for each team remained the same. The new conference schedule was the only edited information.
- Conference schedule. Each team played a home-and-home scenario for teams in division, and then one game each either home or away against non division teams. A ten team league with a double round robin would make the most sense, the end projections appear to be a 12 team league.
So without further ado (drum roll please) ….
2011-12 (Revised) Big East Conference Results
- Creighton: Missouri Valley record: 14-4; Simulated Big East Record: 14-2; Change in Conference Wins: 0. Perhaps the biggest surprise of this simulation, even with Player of the Year finalist Doug McDermott, is that Creighton flat out dominated the league. They completed the unblemished mark at home, only dropping road games at Butler and Dayton. The Bluejays had the highest scoring offense by far averaging a fictional-league best 80.3 points per game and only allowed 65.6 points per game. They seem to be the biggest winner in making the jump to the Big East.
- Georgetown: Big East Record: 12-6; Simulated Big East Record: 13-3; Change in Conference Wins: +1. One of the perennial powers of the original Big East, Georgetown built it’s second place finish on defense, averaging a league best 61.4 points per outing. Without dropping a stinker at Providence, Georgetown would have easily tied Creighton to win the inaugural Big East Championship.
- Dayton: Atlantic 10 record: 9-7; Simulated Big East Record: 9-7; Change in Conference Wins: 0. Despite finishing with an identical record in the A-10, Dayton tied for third with Saint Louis in the new Big East. Dayton had average offensive and defensive numbers, but still somehow finished in the top of the conference. It’s a very interesting result that the Flyers did something in the new Big East that they couldn’t have done in the Atlantic 10 in 2012: put their dancing shoes on.
- Saint Louis: Atlantic 10 record: 12-4; Simulated Big East Record: 9-7; Change in Conference Wins: -3. As previously mentioned, Saint Louis finished tied for third with Dayton. In the Big East Tournament, SLU lost the tiebreaker because Dayton won the only head to head meeting between the two teams. It should be no surprise the Bills got the job done with stingy defense, only allowing 64.8 points per game. With no terrible losses, Saint Louis has a good shot at an at-large bid.
- Marquette: Big East record: 14-4; Simulated Big East Record: 8-8; Change in Conference Wins: -6. In terms of change in conference wins, there wasn’t a bigger loser than Marquette. Even in this simulation, Marquette could be a bubble team. I’d like to say they should be in the tourney, but getting swept by Xavier, losing at the buzzer to DePaul, and a home loss to St. John’s doesn’t help the Golden Eagles chances. They did, however, have the third best offense in the league in a tough defensive league, so that shouldn’t be understated.
- Xavier: Big East record: 10-6; Simulated Big East Record: 8-8; Change in Conference Wins: -2. Xavier got swept by Butler and lost to St. John’s, but the strength of the league should still give them a fighting chance to get into the NCAA’s again. They boasted the second best offense, scoring averaging 71.3 points per game, but also had a terrible defense, allowing 72.3 points per game.
- St. John’s: Big East record: 6-12; Simulated Big East Record: 7-9; Change in Conference Wins: +1. The move has helped the Red Storm. They finished 7-9 with Butler and Seton Hall. The head-to-head tiebreak goes to the Johnnies, beating Butler and there is no separation between them and Seton Hall.
- Butler: Horizon record: 11-7; Simulated Big East Record: 7-9; Change in Conference Wins: -4. Butler will be going through some growing pains in the Big East, as it would appear. In all fairness, they didn’t make the NCAA or NIT and arguably was Brad Stevens’ worst team he’s had to coach. The new conference affiliation might help them on the recruiting trail for future years.
- Seton Hall: Big East Record: 8-10; Simulated Big East Record: 7-9; Change in Conference Wins: -1. Seton Hall doesn’t seem like they are a bad team; the luck wasn’t in South Orange this year with most of the close games going towards the opponents. Then again, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Maybe next season, Pirates.
- Villanova: Big East Record: 5-13; Simulated Big East Record: 5-11; Change in Conference Wins: 0. Jay Wright will get them going at some point, but not this year (meaning 2012). This marks the fourth year since the Wildcats made it to the Final Four, but it feels like a decade.
- DePaul: Big East Record: 3-15; Simulated Big East Record: 4-12; Change in Conference Wins: +1. Poor Depaul. It doesn’t really matter what conference they’re in, they will still continue to be everybody’s doormat. Oliver Purnell knew what he was getting himself into.
- Providence: Big East Record 4-13; Simulated Big East Record: 3-13; Change in Conference Wins: -1. At least they didn’t have a defeated season.
- This will be a fun league. There obviously will be that “Big East toughness” always discussed by the media, regardless the members. With the toughness and stingy defense, there will still be a few gunning teams, such as Creighton and Marquette, who will really be able to score the ball.
- Talk about parity. Minus the top two teams, the next seven finishers were within two games of each other at 9-7, 8-8, or 7-9. This will be a competitive high major league year in and year out. No question.
- At least 4 NCAA bids. Creighton, Georgetown, Dayton, and Saint Louis should be dancing (as of last year, of course). These teams all made the postseason in reality (only Dayton was in the NIT) so we know they are quality teams. Marquette and Xavier would likely be bubble teams with a few bad losses, but they will have some non-conference chops to hopefully make up for that.
- The West Division will be LOADED. DePaul notwithstanding, the West division is crazy good with Marquette, Saint Louis, Creighton, Xavier, and Butler. All those teams dominated (or are dominating *cough* SLU *cough*) their former leagues at some point or another.
- The Eastern Division will likely be Georgetown’s to lose every year. Anyone can argue which team should be shipped west (OMR sent Dayton. Sorry Flyers), but whoever does will mainly have to contend with Georgetown and rack up easy wins (so, really, you’re welcome Flyers). Villanova will likely rise to be competitive at some point, but it’s been a while since the likes of Seton Hall, Providence, and St. John’s have been players.