2017 Big East Tournament Preview
Big East Tournament
Location: Madison Square Garden (New York)
Dates: Wednesday, March 8 through Saturday, March 11
TV Info: All games on FS1 (Championship game on FOX)
Last year’s champion: Seton Hall
The Favorite: The Big East Tournament is clearly Villanova’s to lose. While many will think that the Wildcats will look ahead to defend their national title, I expect Jay Wright to have his team ready to play after Villanova lost in last year’s conference tournament finals to Seton Hall.
The Storylines: If things work out, the Big East could get 70% of its conference into the NCAA Tournament. The best case scenario for the Big East Conference to get that many is Xavier wins over DePaul and Butler and Marquette defeating Seton Hall in the quarterfinals. In the revamped conference’s history, the most amount of bids received was in 2014-15 when six Big East teams went dancing.
Bubble Talk: As it stands today, I think that Seton Hall and Providence are safely in. Seton Hall had a crucial road win at the end of the regular season by defeating Butler. The Friars have also won six in a row. I expect Marquette to still make the tournament even with a loss to Seton Hall, but four of their five best victories came against Creighton (without Mo Watson) and Xavier (without Edmond Sumner), which is a bit concerning from a resume perspective. I also expect Xavier to be in with a sole win against DePaul (with a subsequent loss to Butler), but the Musketeers will definitely be sweating on Selection Sunday if that is the case. A loss to the Blue Demons would certainly end their season, while an upset over Butler would seal another NCAA tournament appearance.
Prediction: #1 Villanova over #2 Butler