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July 4, 2006
The Mailbag: New blood takes over
Remember all that talk about the Big East being such a superior conference last season? It's been replaced by big, fat question marks all over the league.
Connecticut lost five starters, including four first-round draft picks. Villanova lost the top three guards in its four-guard starting lineup. West Virginia lost four of five starters and almost all of its scoring. So did Cincinnati, which will have its third coach in as many seasons. The league's top scorer, Quincy Douby, is also gone, taking the NCAA Tournament hopes of a Rutgers squad with him.
With all the departures, many Big East fans - especially those used to spending the early weekdays of March watching NIT games - are wondering if their teams will have an easier road to the top of the standings.
Some North Carolina fans believe that Roy Williams is destined to capture his second national title in March. Fans at another elite school have serious concerns about the direction of their programs. Tennessee fans want to know if Bruce Pearl can create a worthy encore without his trusted point guard C.J. Watson.
Here are opinions on all those topics and much more.
Andrew Skwara is the national college basketball writer for Rivals.com. To send him a question or comment for his Mailbag, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.