After a quick glance at the Big East basketball match-ups for 2007-08 announced Friday, it looks like it may be easier for Louisville to advance to the NCAA Final Four than it will be to win the league title.
Every team in the 16-member Big East will play each of the other teams once, and each will play three teams twice. For its trio of repeat opponents, the Cards drew Georgetown, Marquette and Rutgers.
Louisville, ranked No. 5 in the preseason, is the only Big East school that will face repeat games against two top-10 teams – Georgetown (8) and Marquette (10), as listed by CBS Sportsline. Overall, the Cards will play six league games against teams ranked in the preseason Top 25. The list also includes single games at home against Villanova (13) and at Pittsburgh (24).
“This is as competitive a league schedule as I’ve ever seen in the Big East,” said U of L coach Rick Pitino. “I’m not overjoyed with the selection process for the repeat games, but this league schedule (18 games) will certainly be entertaining for our fans and competitive for our players.”
The Big East said its decisions regarding repeat opponents “were based on natural interest, geography, rivalries and television contractual obligations.”
Ever think about competitive balance?
By contrast to the Cards, Coach Bob Huggins’ new West Virginia team drew repeat games with Pitt, Providence and St. John’s. And Jim Calhoun’s UConn team will face struggling Cincinnati, as well as Notre Dame and Providence, all unranked in the preseason top-25 polls.
Louisville’s compete schedule with dates and times will be released in early September, according to the U of L sports information office.
Team Repeat Opponents
Cincinnati Connecticut, Pittsburgh, St. John's
Connecticut Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Providence
DePaul Notre Dame, Providence, Villanova
Georgetown Louisville, St. John's, Syracuse
Louisville Georgetown, Marquette, Rutgers
Marquette Louisville, Notre Dame, Seton Hall
Notre Dame Connecticut, DePaul, Marquette
Pittsburgh Cincinnati, Villanova, West Virginia
Providence Connecticut, DePaul, West Virginia
Rutgers Louisville, Seton Hall, USF
St. John's Cincinnati, Georgetown, West Virginia
Seton Hall Marquette, Rutgers, USF
USF Rutgers, Seton Hall, Syracuse
Syracuse Georgetown, USF, Villanova
Villanova DePaul, Pittsburgh, Syracuse
West Virginia Pittsburgh, Providence, St. John's