The 2012 Big East Tournament ended up coming down to the Louisville Cardinals and the Cincinnati Bearcats, to the shock of many. Louisville upended the Bearcats on Saturday night to claim the conference crown and punch their ticket to the 2012 NCAA Tournament in a game that was far from pretty.
29sonski at Big East Coast Bias offers his take on the Big East final from Saturday night.
The win netted Louisville's Rick Pitino his second Big East tournament in four years and 10th overall as a head coach. The Cardinals won both the Big East regular season and conference tournament in 2008-09.
Louisville's Peyton Siva, who overcame a bout of lackluster play late in the regular season, scored 10 points and earned tournament MVP honors. Cincinnati's Cashmere Wright led all scorers with 16 points. Chris Smith led Louisville players with 15 points.
The tournament, which routinely has produced high-energy and high-scoring contests over its history, was marked by marked this year by less than stellar shooting percentages and wining point totals in the 50s and 60s. As the conference prepares to embark on a new era, the five-day event noticeably lacked some of the luster that has characterized it in the past.
The conference now quickly turns its attention to the NCAA tournament, which featured a record 11 Big East teams in the 2011 field. The selection committee, led by former Connecticut AD Jeff Hathaway, will announce its decision later today. Several conference teams are "on the bubble" and could edge out mid-major schools based on strength of schedule.
Although local schools missed out on the Big East title (which, somewhat ironically, came down to two midwest teams), basketball fans are now eagerly looking forward to the main event of March Madness.
For more coverage of the Big East, be sure to check out Big East Coast Bias and SB Nation New York for all your college hoops needs. For lots more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated college basketball hub.