"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Marquette-Pittsburgh: the best new rivalry in the expanded Big East

.....so says this blogger.

Sure the expanded Big East is not yet two full seasons old, but the first three tilts between MU and Pitt have been memorable battles:

  1. Aaron Gray's 20 rebound effort in Pitt's late victory at the Pete last season following the Graves/James collision;
  2. Aaron Gray morphing into Erin Gray at the Bradley Center late last season to help seal a victory for MU;
  3. James making two free throws with 0.9 left in OT to lead MU to a win on the road this season. And don't forget about the Oakland Zoo's dislike for DJ's wink and posturing to the crowd after Sunday's game -- or Aaron Gray's elbow to David Cubillan's head that went unnoticed by the refs earlier in the afternoon;
  4. Oh, and how about MU's win over the Panthers in the Sweet 16 round of the 2003 NCAA tournament.
While these teams don't have a long history, each matchup has been intense, passionate, hard-fought and memorable. I challenge you to find another 'new' Big East pairing that's developed the fever pitch we're already accustomed to seeing with the Panthers and Golden Eagles.

Now, I might be in the minority here. The guys at PittBlather don't think its a rivalry just yet, and they make a good case for it.

Jeff Greer at the Pitt News calls it a rivalry.

Marquette fans feel the rivalry emerging too. Check out this thread on MUScoop. And hey, the Pitt fans think its a rivalry .... at least the ones on their message boards. How about this thread on Tom Crean? Here's my favorite post in the thread:
As a Cincinnati fan I have seen plenty of Crean. He is a good coach who gets the most out of his players and puts up a fight in every game even when he has less talent on the floor. He does come off to other team's fans as a sh!thead though. However I have always had the feeling that if other team's fans hate my coach, he is doing a good job.
The Oakland Zoo blog -- check this out!

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Big East's best new rivalry.


Anonymous said...

"or Aaron Gray's elbow to David Cubillan's head that went unnoticed by the refs earlier in the afternoon"

Actually a ref blew the whistle to break it up but decided not to call anything on it. The announcers said it was mutual contact started by Cubillan, but it looked more like Cubillan was bracing for impact since a guy twice his size was ready to run him over.

Anonymous said...

Heres a link to Pat Forde's weekly minutes, MU is number 16. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=forde_pat&id=2740040