Pitt, Marquette exceeded expectations most
Which Big East programs most exceeded their preseason expectations? If you guessed USF was at the top of the list, you're actually wrong. Using the preseason Big East coaches' poll and the final regular-season standings, Pittsburgh and Marquette were the biggest overachievers, each finishing seven spots higher than they were predicted back in October.
Marquette was picked 12th and finished fifth, while Pittsburgh was picked ninth and finished second. The next biggest jumps belonged to USF and Syracuse, who each finished five spots ahead of their preseason slot. USF was picked 14th and took ninth, while Syracuse was expected to finish sixth and won the regular-season crown.
Only two other schools finished above their preseason rankings -- Notre Dame and Rutgers, one spot ahead of the coaches' picks. Seton Hall (10th) and DePaul (16th) were the only correct guesses by the coaches, and the other 10 schools finished lower than expected.
Biggest disappointments? Connecticut was picked to finish third and took 12th, a nine-spot dropoff, easily the biggest in the league. Cincinnati finished 11th, four spots below their pick, and Villanova and Georgetown were both three spots under their predicted finish.