Big East Tournament Preview
This week the annual Big East tournament will convene at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The tournament is set to begin Wednesday night with the play-in games and will run until Saturday night when a champion is crowned.
Once again, Villanova is entering the tournament as the regular season champion and the number one seed. Many teams over the years have taken a swing at that top spot such as Xavier and Creighton, and this year Marquette took their shot at the dethroning the Wildcats for the top spot.
Following a season in which two Big East teams entered the tournament in the top-15, the highest ranking team entering this year’s tournament is Marquette at 23. Villanova follows them ranked 25th in the country.
Villanova and Marquette are the favorites, but a fairly balanced rest of the conference will give the Golden Eagles and Wildcats, respectively, a run for their money. No Big East team finished with an overall record below .500 and four teams finished with a .500 record in conference, with two more above the .500 mark.
While Villanova and Marquette are the presumed favorites, this is really anyone’s conference championship for the taking. Teams like Georgetown, Seton Hall, Xavier, and Creighton have the firepower to make a run to Saturday night.
Don’t sleep on the teams that will be playing the play-in games on Wednesday night as well. St. Johns, Providence, DePaul, and Butler all have quality wins under their belt and the Red Storm enter the tournament with a 20-11 record, showing they have had plenty of success this season.
In years past, many fans could point to one or two teams and say they will be playing on Saturday night. It could be chalk and Villanova or Marquette could play on Saturday, or one of the lower seeds could make an appearance, anything is really possible and that is what makes the Big East tournament this year so exciting.
Also, some teams will be playing to bolster their tournament resumes. Villanova and Marquette will look to move up in terms of seedings, while many of the other teams are trying to move from the bubble to into the tournament.
Star power will be on full display in New York headlined by Markus Howard of Marquette, Phil Booth of Villanova, Shamorie Ponds of St. Johns, and Myles Powell of Seton Hall. These will be some names to pay attention to as they could alter the outcome of the tournament.
The most exciting stretch of college basketball is here, and the Big East tournament will be sure to bring the excitement. So, buckle up college basketball fans, the worlds most famous arena is going to feature some awesome basketball this week!
Jake Starr is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.