I'm not so sure I buy into this conference is so much more competitive balogna.
Look at Boston College, with the ecxeption of a short burst at the end of last season they sucked. This year they tied for first in the Big East.
Look at Georgia Tech, going from 2nd last year to a bubble team this year with the same team.
Look at SU, 5 teammates from the 2003 Championship team are still playing for SU and we'll likely have an early exit from the NCAA tourney again this year.
Some teams get better, some worse, and some stay the same. Just like some players. Warrick is much better than 2002. GMac is much worse overall than 2003. Forth is still the exact same Forth.