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Big East wakes up, realizes 16 teams is PERFECT for a tournament.

The Big East is starting to realize that sixteen teams can, in fact, be very sweet.

Big East coaches voted to expand the 2010 Big East Basketball tournament to include all sixteen league teams, and do away with byes.  This year's tournament was the first to include the "double-bye" for the top four seeds, and that didn't work to well.  Only WVU managed to win their first game while the other three top seeds were sent packing.

The concern amongst conference officials had been that the top seeds were wearing themselves out in the conference tournament and underachieving in the NCAA Tournament.  I'm looking at you, Pitt.  Under the new format, the top four teams would play on Tuesday, with an off day Wednesday, and then resume play Thursday.  This gets rid of four-games-in-four-days that would be needed to win the tournament (at least for the top four seeds).

The best thing about the new format is that the Big East's "bubble" teams (roughly seeded 7-10) will now be forced to play each other.  This will give teams an opportunity to win their way in.  Currently, the bottom feeders play each other, pick up an extra win or two, but still get smoked by the top seeds.  Does that answer any questions for anybody?  No it doesn't.

So we're looking at Day One of the Big East Tournament featuring marquee teams, Day Two featuring games that are "play-in" games for the big dance, and Days Three-Five featuring some of the best basketball that you can watch every year.  Sounds like a plan to me!

The bad news of course, is that this was voted on by the Coaches.  Coaches know what's up, that's why they made the best decision possible.  It still needs to be ratified by the University Presidents.  You know what that means?  They'll find a way to screw this up.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.