New Big East a Top 3 Conference, Will Help Fox Sports 1

The new Big East took two Top-5 teams from the Big 12 to the wire Friday, with Oklahoma State having to block a last second shot to hold on against Butler and No. 2 Kansas being stunned by Villanova. The tables below show the team-by-team comparison for the ACC and Big East based on the calculations at www.kenpom.com, which calculate that each conference would win 81 percent of their games if all 351 teams played each other on a neutral court. Good news for Fox Sports 1.

Fox Sports 1 and the new Big East have a lot riding on the other's success. The sports network's ratings have not been good so far, and preseason conference favorite Marquette was blown out by Ohio State in Fox Sports 1's heavily promoted feature kickoff. However, Georgetown’s blowout of Kansas State and win at VCU in the past seven days coupled with possible Player of the year Doug McDermott and Creighton’s big win at St. Joe’s and blowout of Arizona State Thursday helped the conference virtually tie the ACC as the second best conference on www.kenpom.com heading into Friday’s games:

Top 10 Conferences

1 -- Big Ten Conference, .8335

2 -- Atlantic Coast Conference, .8010

3 -- Big East Conference, .8005

4 -- Big 12 Conference, .7878

5 -- Pac 12 Conference, .7493

6 -- American Athletic Conference, .7418

7 -- Southeastern Conference, .7400

8 -- Atlantic 10 Conference, .7026

9 -- West Coast Conference, .6356

10 -- Mountain West Conference, .6221

The ACC likely stays ahead when reviewing all games. Pomeroy’s calculations show they were expected to get 5.6 wins in nine games and they actually went 6-3, while the Big East was expected to win 3.9 of seven games and actually went 3-4. Further, the ACC was expected to score 28 more points than allowed in those games Friday and actually over performed with a +60. The Big East was expected to have a +12 and actually had a -1 for the night.

Still, the teams that needed to establish themselves did. A Marquette team that struggled early trying to work in freshman guards, destroyed an undefeated George Washington team by 16, Butler looked like they had not missed a beat with Brad Stevens coaching the Celtics as they came down to a final shot against an Oklahoma State team they were given only a 13 percent chance to win, and Villanova stunned Kansas.

The ACC certainly has plenty of fire power going into the annual ACC-Big Ten challenge to try to claim the spot as the best conference with the addition of former Big East teams Pittsburgh and Syracuse and Louisville to join next year. But with some questioning if the new Big East would still be on par with the other “Big 6” (BCS) conferences, so far they appear to be the best conference not playing in the upcoming ACC-Big Ten challenge, easily surpassing the Pac 12 and SEC and after Friday distancing themselves over the Big 12. The Big East does not have to be the best conference, any more than Fox Sports 1 has to catch ESPN’s ratings, but they are on the way to be the “non-football” BCS equivalent which could make the Fox Sports 1 gamble on big in roads into the New York market a good one.

The following is the breakdown of each Big East and ACC team with Friday's predicted and actual results:
Big East Team Rank Next Game - Opponent's Rank Chance Pred Result
Butler 70 Fri, vs 1 Oklahoma St. 13% -12 -2
Creighton 9 Fri, vs 50 San Diego St. 74% 6 -6
DePaul 128 Sun, vs 86 Oregon St.      
Georgetown 27 Sat, vs 229 Lipscomb      
Marquette 54 Fri, vs 59 George Washington 50% 1 16
Providence 41 Fri, vs 271 Fairfield 96% 16 9
Seton Hall 92 Sun, vs 340 Fairleigh Dickinson      
St. John's 68 Fri, vs 77 Penn St. 64% 4 -7
Villanova 20 Fri, vs 5 Kansas 34% -5 4
Xavier 33 Fri, vs 57 Tennessee 60% 2 -15
Predicted 3.9 Win, +12 pts   Actual 3-4, -1 pt 3.9 12 (1)
           
ACC Team Rank Next Game Chance Pred Result
Boston College 79 Wed, at 74 Purdue      
Clemson 32 Fri, vs 205 Coastal Carolina 93% 14 29
Duke 22 Fri, vs 10 Arizona 42% -2 -6
Florida St. 43 Fri, at 7 Florida 17% -10 -1
Georgia Tech 81 Fri, vs 69 Mississippi 42% -2 -10
Maryland 40 Fri, vs 269 Morgan St. 96% 20 27
Miami FL 124 Fri, at 233 Cal St. Fullerton 59% 2 2
North Carolina 13 Sun, at 120 UAB      
North Carolina St. 103 Sat, vs 142 Eastern Kentucky      
Notre Dame 62 Sun, vs 332 Cornell      
Pittsburgh 2 Sat, vs 190 Duquesne      
Syracuse 11 Tue, vs 28 Indiana      
Virginia 15 Fri, vs 56 SMU 71% 5 3
Virginia Tech 123 Fri, vs 224 Radford 82% 10 25
Wake Forest 85 Fri, vs 143 USC 61% 3 14
Predicted 5.6 Wins, +28 pts   Actually went 6-3, +60 pts 5.6 28 60

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