Game 1: Ohio State 67, Georgetown 60
My three keys heading into the game:
1. How would the Buckeyes defend Jeff Green?
Georgetown...when you say the name there's just a ring to it, especially if you grew up with basketball in the Northeast as I did. The 80s brought about excess, hip hop, drugs...and the Big East. All things that are brash, in your face, a departure from the establishment that not all were willing or able to embrace. Programs like Syracuse, St. John's and Villanova helped shape the Big East during that time, but it was Georgetown that gave the league its first "label".
Best Performance: Greg Oden, Ohio State
One can only imagine Coach John Calipari’s reaction.
Trying to get ready for his Elite Eight showdown with the #1 team in the country, a team on a 20 game winning streak, he opens up the newspaper or turns on the TV and discovers what his star forward Joey Dorsey had been saying about his match-up with Greg Oden:
"I'm an underrated big man and he's a lot overrated as a big man."
"I'm going to have a 20-rebound night.."
"I'm Goliath… he's the little man."
In terms of individual performances there have been some major surprises this season in the Big East. Quite a few players who were picked to earn all-conference honors prior to the season did not live up to expectations, while others who were relatively unheralded have had outstanding seasons. Some players, of course, did live up to their advance billing and deserve to be considered for post-season awards.
Ohio State, Georgetown, Kansas and Florida are hitting their stride when it counts.