• 3-point shot: Schedule maker's nightmare

  • By Andy Katz | December 13, 2012 6:00:27 AM PST

1. The Big East is going through a number of different scheduling models for 2013-14 and beyond, but the league may need to dance carefully around promoting the "elite" teams too much over the "new rebuilding programs." Big East commissioner Mike Aresco has instructed Tom Odjakjian in the Big East office to come up with a number of different scheduling models. One school of thought is to have the top teams like Marquette, Georgetown, Connecticut and Cincinnati playing each other in the repeat games and having some of the perceived lower-level schools playing each other in the repeat games. While that would make sense for television purposes, it may create haves and have-nots if it is done without a top team playing a lower-level team. It also could lead to inflated records for teams that wouldn't have played as tough a schedule. The NCAA tournament selection committee sees through this. They look at each school's schedule individually, and if they play lower-level teams -- regardless of the final record -- then they won't be tourney worthy. The Big East was going to have 18 teams with Notre Dame in 2014. But then the Irish announced they were leaving and may get out for next season. That meant Odjakjian had to come up with a 17-team model. Then, Rutgers and Louisville left, for the 2014-15 season, meaning the 2015 conference schedule was going to have 15 teams. But the Big East added Tulane for the 2014-2015 conference season pushing the number back to a 16-team scheduling model. The league has time to figure this out -- of course as long as there aren't any more defections between now and next season.

2. Indiana finally gets 6-8 freshman Hanner Mosquera-Perea and 7-foot freshman Peter Jurkin eligible for Saturday's game against Butler in Indianapolis. The two players add tremendous length and size as well as giving the Hoosiers 10 more frontcourt fouls if Cody Zeller ever has foul issues. It's unclear if either player can be extremely effective in a game like Saturday's, or if they'll even see the court, but having them on the bench makes the top team in the country deeper and even more attractive as a title pick. Indiana coach Tom Crean doesn't anticipate having any issues adding two players to an undefeated team. "It's not that hard because we need to ease them in,'' said Crean. "There won't be any big changes immediately. You have to let them gain and get confidence and not force them into action. They are two great young men.''

3. One thing that shouldn't be dismissed even though a number of sources in the Big East say they would never head to the A-10: Not everyone may have a choice. Marquette, Georgetown, Villanova and St. John's will do everything in their power to remain in what they perceive is an elite conference -- whether that's in the Big East or forming their own conference. But if the whole thing ever splinters then DePaul, Providence and Seton Hall may not have the same options. There is strength in numbers as a group of seven. But each school is also thinking about itself and can't afford to lose out on something for the sake of the group. I have been told that there is no way the A-10 would be able to pull off a 21-team league. But I think we all have learned that nothing is certain anymore. A number of the football schools remaining in the Big East don't think the Catholic schools will be able to dissolve the league or break off because they would need the football schools to get the best possible television deal. Stay tuned. ...


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