The Big East received the ultimate validation last season when Villanova tore through the NCAA tournament on the way to a national championship. The Wildcats are again one of the top teams in the country entering the Big East tournament, which kicks off on March 8 in Madison Square Garden.
The Big East is top-heavy with ‘Nova, Butler and Creighton looking strong going into March. Villanova, led by National Player of the Year contender Josh Hart, is poised to make a deep postseason run and are the clear favorites. But two of the Wildcats’ three losses in 2016-17 came at the hands of Butler, who ended the season with a loss to Seton Hall.
Still, don’t count out the rest of the conference just yet. Seton Hall, who edged out Villanova in the Big East championship game last year, has an NCAA Tournament-worthy resume behind monster rebounder Angel Delgado.
Meanwhile, Creighton boasts one of the top offenses in the country, led by guard Marcus Foster and a potential NBA draft lottery pick in freshman center Justin Patton. And though Xavier lost guard Edmond Sumner for the season after he tore his ACL, expect Trevon Bluiett to keep the Musketeers in the mix.
Georgetown, on the other hand, continues its disappointing season, and unless John Thompson III can summon his father’s postseason prowess, it’s a tough road ahead for JT3 to replicate his team’s 2007 Big East title run.
There are 10 teams in the present-day Big East, and they all qualify for the conference tournament with seeding based on conference record. The top six seeds get a bye, while seeds 7 through 10 play each other in the first round to see who makes it to the quarterfinals. There, the top two seeds play the winners of the 7/10 and 8/9 games. The rest of the tournament is single-elimination.
The tournament, which will take place in Madison Square Garden in New York City, will be four rounds, each taking place on a different day from March 8-11.
- Seton Hall
- St. John’s
You can see the whole bracket here.
Schedule and Results (all times Eastern)
Wednesday, March 8 (First Round) at Madison Square Garden
Game 1: No. 8 St. John’s 74, No. 9 Georgetown 73
Game 2: No. 7 Xavier 75, No. 10 DePaul 64
Thursday, March 9 (Quarterfinals) at Madison Square Garden
Game 3: No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 8 St. John’s, noon, FOXSportsGO
Game 4: No. 4 Marquette vs. No. 5 Seton Hall, 2:30 p.m., FOXSportsGO
Game 5: No. 2 Butler vs. No. 7 Xavier, 7 p.m., FOXSportsGO
Game 6: No. 3 Providence vs. No. 6 Creighton, 9:30 p.m., FOXSportsGO
Friday, March 10 (Semifinals) at Madison Square Garden
Sunday, March 11 (Championship) at Madison Square Garden
Game 9: TBD, 5:30 p.m., FOXSportsGO