Big East Tournament Preview

12 Mar

Big East

March 12-16

Favorite(s)-Georgetown (24-5 14-4), Louisville (26-5 14-4)

The Hoyas have had an up and down season. They started out playing very well with only an overtime loss to Indiana in the loss column.  Then they went through a stretch where even though they were winning it was painful to watch them play, highlighted by a compelling 39-38 win over Tennessee. They finished the year clicking on all cylinders and earned the top spot in the Big East Tournament.  If the Georgetown team that bookended the season shows up at Madison Square Garden then they could very well be cutting down the nets.

Louisville of all the teams being talked about as possible Final Four candidates the Cardinals are getting the least amount of pub.  They throttled a then #13 Missouri team in the Bahamas, beat Memphis and their only loss in the non-conference was a five point loss to #1 Duke.  Look at Their conference losses include two 2-point losses and a 3-point five overtime loss to Notre Dame.  With the 2-seed in the Big East Tournament, the Cardinals should be a threat in NY and to get to the Final Four.

Contender(s)-Syracuse (23-8 17-7), Marquette (23-7 14-4)

The Orange struggled mightily down the stretch. After an 18-1 start to the season, they finished the year going just 5-7 putting them in the contenders category.  One thing about the Syracuse zone though is they have the ability to force teams into mistakes if they aren’t patient and don’t know how to attack it.  Also if Syracuse is able to get out in transition even a little bit and make open shots they can go on the kind of spurt we saw early in the year.

Marquette earned the 3-seed in the Big East Tournament with wins over Syracuse, Georgetown and a sweep of Pittsburgh.  Led by the back court of Junior Cadougan and Vander Blue and with a guy in the middle like Davante Gardner who went for 26 and 8 in a win over Syracuse, Buzz Williams’ blue-collar crew should be thought of among the teams that can win the Big East Tournament.

Team Likely to pull an upset-Pittsburgh (24-7 12-6)

After a “disappointing” season last year finishing 17-16 before claiming the CBI Championship, we knew Jamie Dixon’s Pitt Panthers would turn things around.  Finishing 12-6 in the conference and ranked in the top 25 Pitt has had a good year but thanks to the depth of the conference are only ranked 4th going into the Big East Tournament.  With a veteran coach like Dixon and senior guard like Tray Woodall the Panthers shouldn’t surprise anyone if they are playing for the conference title.

3 Key Players-Otto Porter-Georgetown, Peyton Siva-Louisville, Michael Carter-Williams-Syracuse

Porter has positioned himself not only as a favorite for Big East Player of the Year but also into the conversation for national POY. While Georgetown has struggled offensively in large spurts this season, Porter and his 16.4 points and 7.5 rebounds have been a constant. The sophomore forward plays big in big games as evidenced by the 33 and 8 he put up in the final Big East game against rival Syracuse.

Siva is third on the Cardinals in scoring but the key for Siva is staying on the floor.  He has a penchant for picking up silly fouls and being forced to sit for long periods of time.  Another key for Siva is being able to hold onto the ball, much like his addiction to foul trouble he goes through fits when he turns the ball over at a high rate, he averages nearly 3 a game.

The Orange sophomore point guard Michael Carter-Williams is a big key in Syracuse’s success.  Not only is he one of the country’s leaders in assists at nearly eight a game but he also grabs 4.7 rebounds while netting 12.5 points.  What makes him so important is that when one aspect of his game isn’t going well he is able to help his team in other areas.

 

2013 BIG EAST TOURNAMENT

March 12-16 New York, NY

MARCH 12

FIRST ROUND

#12 Seton Hall vs. #13 South Florida

#11 Rutgers vs. #14 DePaul

MARCH 13

SECOND ROUND

#8 Cincinnati vs. #9 Providence

#5 Syracuse vs. #12/13

#7 Villanova vs. #10 St. John’s

#6 Notre Dame vs. #11/14

MARCH 14

QUARTERFINALS

#1 Georgetown vs.

#4 vs. Pittsburgh

#3 vs. Marquette

#2 vs. Louisville

MARCH 15

SEMIFINALS

1.

2.

MARCH 16

CHAMPIONSHIP

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