Championship Week Preview- Big East

BIG EAST TOURNAMENT PREVIEW

Locks-

  • Syracuse
  • Pittsburgh
  • West Virginia
  • Villanova
  • Georgetown
  • Louisville
  • Marquette

Bubble

  • Notre Dame- Win 1 game to be safe, should be in regardless.
  • South Florida- Reach the Big East Semis, that would mean beating Depaul, Georgetown and Syracuse.
  • Seton Hall– Reach the Big East Semis, that would mean beating Providence, Notre Dame and Pitt.
  • Connecticut- Reach the Big East Final
  • Cincinnati- Reach the Big East Final

3 Players to Watch

  1. Dominique Jones (South Florida)- An absolute scorer who can score in a variety of ways.  He can stroke it from the outside, and get to the basket.  He’s averaging 21.3 ppg, 6.1 reb and 3.7 apg this season.
  2. Jeremy Hazell (Seton Hall)- Another solid scorer who gets overshadowed in the Big East.  Averaging 21.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg and 1.6 apg.
  3. Lazar Heyward (Marquette)- He has taken the leadership role of Marquette after the graduation Dominique James.  He’s had a solid season too.  He can shoot it from deep, play solid defense and rebound.  Averaging 18.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg and 1.5 apg.

(Dominique Jones)

A Couple Sleepers

  • Notre Dame- Hottest team in the Big East, curious to see what they will do with Luke Harangody.
  • Connecticut- Do they feel like playing?  They have talent.
  • South Florida- Dominique Jones.

Projected Championship Game- 1. Syracuse (28-3) (15-3) vs 3. West Virginia (24-6) (13-5)

Out of the big 6 conference tournaments, the Big East is the most intiguing to me.  The tournament will be comple chaos and tough to project.  There’s approximately 12 teams playing for NCAA Tournament bids or seeding.

Syracuse has been the class of the conference all season.  There 2-3 zone has arguably been the best zone during Jim Boeheim’s tenure.  They are so adept and precise in transition with their passing ability. 

Wesley Johnson has been the star, but the Orange have so many key role players.  G Andy Rautins is an emotional leader,  he’s a great 3-point shooter and has good ball handling ability and vision in transition.  F Rick Jackson and C Arinze Onuaku are bangers inside.  G Brandon Triche has done a solid job replacing Johnny Flynn at the point.  Syracuse has a solid bench with Scoop Jardine, Rick Jackson and Mookie Jones.

(Wesley Johnson)

West Virginia comes into the tournament with a big emotional win on the road against Villanova.  The final #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament is up in the air, and if the Mountaineers can find a way to win the Big East Tournament, they will certainly be in the discussion for the final #1 seed.

West Virginia is led by their forwards. F Da’Sean Butler has done a little bit of everything for West Virginia this season.  The 3rd leading scorer in West Virginia history can do more than just score.  He can rebound, dish and his defense has gotten better.  He plays an old school game, he likes to work the mid-range game.  He excels in the triple threat position.  F Devin Banks has an incredible wingspan.  He uses that wingspan well; rebounding, blocking and altering shots and getting to loose balls.   

daseanbutler.jpg wvu basketball - da'sean butler image by morpheus0117

(Da’Sean Butler)

Prediction- Syracuse, the two teams played a very competetive game in Morgantown earlier this season.  The Cuse won 72-71.  I just like the way the Orange are playing, their defense is tough to prepare for and they can really work the break.

Projected Tournament Seeds

  • Syracuse (1)
  • West Virginia (2)
  • Villanova (3)
  • Pittsburgh (4)
  • Georgetown (5)
  • Louisville (7)
  • Marquette (9)
  • Notre Dame (11)

STANDINGS- http://espn.go.com/ncb/conferences/standings?confId=4

TOURNAMENT BRACKET- http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/tournament/bracket/_/id/5/2010-big-east-tournament

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