The NCAA season has reached it first round of the postseason. With the regular season now in the books, we are in the heart of the conference tournaments. Come Wednesday, March 8th, a good majority of the conferences will have started their respective tournaments. Several tickets have already have been punched, with more to come each and every day in the coming week.
One of the tournaments that will be tipping off for the first time on Wednesday will be the Big East Conference Tournament. Here at INSC we have you covered, with predictions down below. This tourney will conclude on Saturday, March 11th.
You can check out the seedings and a link to the bracket below.[Kenny]
(5) Seton Hall
(8) Saint John’s
Things in Madison Square Garden will certainly be interesting. There will be bids on the line, even for teams who do not win this whole thing, as the Big East has plenty of bubble teams. Things will start off here against two teams who are not on that bubble level, however, as both St. John’s and Georgetown are not likely to go dancing. In a competitive game, it will be the Hoyas who pull it out, winning 78-76. But Villanova will then have no issues rolling over Georgetown, as they advance to the semis thanks to an 80-68.
The next one will be a big one. Marquette is squarely on the bubble, with a win here being huge. Seton Hall is likely in, but a loss here will make them sweat things out a few more days. This one will go back and forth throughout the game. Marquette will do everything in their power to advance, but when the buzzer sounds, it will be just short of where they need to be. Give me Seton Hall 75-74 as they advance to take on Nova.
On the bottom half, we open with Providence against Creighton. The seeds may confuse most, as Creighton is widely expected to be a lock for the Big Dance while Providence is on the bubble. So would this really be an upset if the Blue Jays take home the win? Well I do not really love either team, but I still favor the team with the six seed designation. Give me Creighton, 72-70.
To close out the bottom part, Xavier takes on DePaul for the chance to play Butler. Xavier has been going down hill fast recently, suffering several key injuries. But one team they have no issues beating is DePaul. Their recent slide has put their bid in some jeopardy, but they will win this first one 78-69. But then they face Butler, and that one will be a rough one for the X-men. Even when Xavier is fully healthy and going well, I would favor Butler. So I see this one as an easy pick and I will go with Butler, 74-67.
The semifinals will begin with Nova taking on Seton Hall. Seton Hall will have done enough to lock themselves into either an eight or nine seed in the NCAA Tournament. That is good for them, as they are not going to take down the team that is destined for a one seed. Give me Nova by the score of 72-67.
That means the winner of Creighton and Butler will need to face one of the best team’s in college basketball. Creighton is a team that opened the season much higher than they are now. Butler suffered a loss not too long ago to Seton Hall, but that is one of the few blemishes on their resume. Butler is simply the better team in this one. Give me Butler 77-72.
It will come as little surprise to see Villanova taking on Butler for the auto bid in the Big East. These two are simply better than the rest of their competition in this conference. But there is a reason Villanova is considered a one and Butler is more in the three to five range. Nova is simply one of the best teams in the whole country, and they prove it here with a 72-69 win.
So what do you think? Who will emerge with a NCAA Tournament bid? Will it be an upset, or will the top seed claim their auto bid? Tell us in the comments!