No one can argue that the Big East conference wasn't the strongest in the NCAA this year. Louisville, Connecticut, and Pittsburgh all nabbed #1 seeds in the Big Dance. #3 seeds Villanova and Syracuse have also shown that they have the talent and toughness (eg: Syracuse 127, UConn 117, 6 OT) needed to make it to the Final Four.
However, one conference sent more teams to the tournament than the Big East. The ACC filled an amazing 7 bids, to the Big East's 6. #1 seed North Carolina is still probably the favorite to win the tournament. Duke won the ACC tournament, getting a #2 seed thanks to their deadly accurate shooting and solid defense. Wake Forest was the number one team in the country at one point this season and, despite their shaky conference record, was picked by Sports Illustrated to make the Final Four. The other four ACC teams in the tournament (Clemson, Boston College, Florida St. and Maryland) all beat Duke or North Carolina during the season. So would these seven teams from a fiercely competitive conference give the Big East a run for their money? Not in the least. By the time the first round ended, only three teams were left, and the ACC's status as a basketball power conference was looking very fragile indeed.
Of all the ACC teams in the tournament, Boston College played the lousiest. BC let USC shoot over 50% from the field, including Trojans forward Taj Gibson, who was 10-for-10. Up by four at halftime, the Golden Eagles were outscored 42-21 in the second half. All-ACC Second Team point Guard Tyrese Rice will graduate this spring, and will be sorely missed. But the Golden Eagles have some very talented young players in Joe Trapani, Rakim Sanders and Corey Raji. Expect BC to be back in the NCAA tournament next year if those three players don't leave for the NBA.