I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t particularly interested in the Big East tournament. It’s been such a down year and I feel a little bad for the Villanova Wildcats. Clearly they are dominant team in the division, but because the Big East doesn’t have the usual powerhouses since the conference split, they are going to get a bad wrap come Selection Sunday. Anyways, the Big East tournament’s first round begins today with a pair of games. The 8th seeded Seton Hall Pirates will face the 9th seeded Marquette Golden Eagles. The Pirates believe it or not, were once ranked as they defeated a pair of ranked teams in the St. John’s Red Storm and Villanova Wildcats. It’s been downhill since then though and they have won just a mere one game in their last nine. The Golden Eagles usually are always competitive, but have been just as brutal as the Pirates, ending the season with only two wins in their last fourteen games. The other game on the tab, features the 7th seeded Depaul Blue Demons against the 10th seeded Creighton Bluejays. The Blue Demons have taken advantage of this down year in the Big East and have some success, well more than the usual. The Bluejays on the other hand are clearly not the same team without Doug McDermott. It’s clear he was the not only the glue that gelled the team, but also the back they relied on.
As for a prediction, I’d like to go with the clear favorites Villanova Wildcats, but I’m going to throw a curveball and side with the Butler Bulldogs. When the spotlight is on, the Bulldogs perform and I can see them making a run in this tournament. They have a tough first game against the Xavier Musketeers, who they have split wins with, but I’m confident they can win the trilogy. They have a lot of experience, which is great come crunch time and the tandem of Kellen Dunham & Roosevelt Jones I believe gets it done in the Big East tournament.