The 2011 Big East Conference Tournament

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 03-06-2011, 07:28 PM         #1
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Dangerously 
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The 2011 Big East Conference Tournament
 

 

[pic - click to view]



FIRST ROUND - TUESDAY, MARCH 8, 2011

12:00 PM ET

GAME 1


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FINAL

9 Connecticut 97
16 De Paul 71

(ESPN2/ESPN 3D/ESPN3.com)

2:00 PM ET

GAME 2

FINAL

12 Seton Hall 70
13 Rutgers 76

(ESPN2/ESPN 3D/ESPN3.com)

7:00 PM ET

GAME 3

10 Villanova 69
15 University of South Florida 70


image

(ESPNU/ESPN 3D/ESPN3.com)

9:00 PM ET

GAME 4

FINAL

11 Marquette 87

14 Providence 66

(ESPNU/ESPN 3D/ESPN3.com)


Last edited by Dangerously; 03-09-2011 at 01:43 PM..

619 comments for "The 2011 Big East Conference Tournament"

 03-06-2011, 07:29 PM         #2
Dangerously  OP
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SECOND ROUND
WEDNESDAY MARCH 9, 2011

12:00 PM ET

GAME 5

FINAL

8 Georgetown 62
9 Connecticut 79

(ESPN2/ESPN 3D/ESPN3.com)

2:00 PM ET

GAME 6

FINAL

5 St. John's 65
13 Rutgers 63

(ESPN2/ESPN 3D/ESPN3.com)

7:00 PM ET

GAME 7


[pic - click to view]



7 Cincinatti

VS.

15 South Florida

(ESPN2/ESPN 3D/ESPN3.com)

9:00 PM ET

GAME 8


[pic - click to view]



6 West Virginia

VS.

Marquette

(ESPN2/ESPN 3D/ESPN3.com)

QUARTERFINALS - THURSDAY MARCH 10, 2011

12:00 PM ET

GAME 9


[pic - click to view]



1 Pittsburgh

VS.

9 Connecticut

(ESPN/ESPN 3D/ESPN3.com)

2:00 PM ET

GAME 10


[pic - click to view]



4 Syracuse

VS.

5 St. John's

(ESPN/ESPN 3D/ESPN3.com)

7:00 PM ET

GAME 11


[pic - click to view]



2 Notre Dame

VS.

7/10/15 WINNER

(ESPN/ESPN 3D/ESPN3.com)

9:00 PM ET

GAME 12


[pic - click to view]



3 Louisville

VS.

6/11/14 WINNER

(ESPN/ESPN 3D/ESPN3.com)

SEMIFINALS - FRIDAY MARCH 11, 2011

7:00 PM ET
GAME 13 - THURSDAY AFTERNOON WINNERS (ESPN/ESPN 3D/ESPN3.com)

9:00 PM ET
GAME 14 - THURSDAY EVENING WINNERS (ESPN/ESPN 3D/ESPN3.com)

CHAMPIONSHIP - SATURDAY MARCH 12, 2011

9:00 PM ET
SEMIFINAL WINNERS (ESPN/ESPN 3D/ESPN3.com)


Last edited by Dangerously; 03-09-2011 at 03:53 PM..
 03-06-2011, 08:16 PM         #3
Dangerously  OP
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[pic - click to view]



Championship Week Preview Part 1.
By Pat Forde

(edited down for Big East Content only)

Forty names, games, teams and minutiae making news in college basketball ("No trespassing" signs sold separately to the home pep squad at the KFC Yum! Center (1) ):

Check the calendar, start the madness

There can be only one explanation for a weekend crazier than Charlie Sheen on an interview binge. Only one plausible reason for a 48-hour span in which three top-five teams lose -- Texas (2) blowing a 22-point lead to a bubble team, Duke (3) scoring nine points in the final 11 minutes to relinquish a lead to a bubble team, and Pittsburgh (4) getting a miracle chance at a tie because of an overexuberant male cheerleader.

That explanation? It's time for March.

But before vaulting into the most wonderfully madcap month of the year -- and before handicapping the first wave of conference tournaments that make Championship Week a compelling prelude to the NCAA shebang -- let's first sort out the winners and losers from a frantic February.

In golf tournament jargon, Saturday is moving day -- the day the contenders and pretenders sort themselves out for the final charge to the finish. In college basketball, February is moving month. Here's where we stand now that it's over:

WINNER: The Big East (5). At the beginning of the month, there was an outside chance that the league could land a record 11 NCAA bids. At the end of the month, it looks like a solid 11. That's due to the sensational surge by St. John's, plus the refusal to fold by bubble teams Cincinnati, Marquette and West Virginia. The Red Storm have won six in a row, three over ranked opponents, and could possibly vault all the way from the bubble to a top-four NCAA seed. Meanwhile the Bearcats, Golden Eagles and Mountaineers all have scored recent résumé-solidifying victories: Cincinnati over Louisville (home) and Georgetown (road), Marquette over Connecticut on the road and West Virginia over Notre Dame at home. Now the question is seeding: Could the league actually corral six of the top 16 seeds? It's not out of the question.

LOSER: Villanova (9). Not everyone in the Big East loved February. The Wildcats went a collapsible 4-5 on the month, capping it off by being blown out of South Bend by a Notre Dame team going the opposite direction. They close at Pitt, which means they're likely to limp into the postseason with a 9-9 Big East record. This conjures up memories of last year when Nova lost six of its last nine games, including upsets in its first Big East tourney game and second NCAA game.

LOSER: Ashton Gibbs (17). The Pittsburgh guard became the latest Twitter twit by churlishly announcing via social media Sunday that the Panthers shouldn't have lost to "them bums" from Louisville. His next tweet was taken down: "F--- it. On to the next one." In its place was an apology so carefully crafted that you could almost see the sports information director's fingers typing it. That probably wasn't the wisest expression of free speech coming off a 3-for-11 clunker performance.

 03-07-2011, 03:06 AM         #4
Dangerously  OP
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No. 1 Pittsburgh

On Broadway: The preseason favorite has led the conference wire-to-wire. Now the Panthers say to their peers, "Catch Me If You Can."

Why to watch: No one plays New York quite like the Pitt. The Panthers have reached the Big East tournament final in seven of the past 10 years and are 19-7 in New York since 2001.

Who to watch: Brad Wanamaker. The senior isn't the leading scorer, but he's the glue guy, the one who does a little bit of everything for Pittsburgh. He scores (11.9 points), rebounds (5.3), dishes out passes (5.2 a.ssists) and sets the nasty defensive tone (1.5 steals).

What's at stake: A No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. In this topsy-turvy season, just how the selection committee will go is about as unpredictable as the weather, but if the Panthers can leave New York with the Big East crown, it's impossible to imagine they won't be rewarded with a top seed.

Prediction: The Panthers muddy the selection committee's job even further by failing to find their outside shot against Syracuse's zone and lose in the tournament semifinals.




No. 2 Notre Dame

On Broadway: The hot-shooting f!ghting Irish have a starring role in "The a.ssassins."


Why to watch: The Irish enter New York as the league's hottest team, having won 11 of their final 12, and are a dark horse for a top seed in the NCAA tournament.

Who to watch: Ben Hansbrough. It's easy to say the reason to watch Hansbrough is because he's Notre Dame's leading scorer and a sharpshooter extreme. It's more than that. Hansbrough is this team's heart, soul and personality. He's one of those guys you hate if you play against and love if he's on your side, an unabashed showboating trash-talker. And we love him for it.

What's at stake: Since joining the league in 1995, Notre Dame has never played for a Big East tournament title, much less won one. That ties Rutgers for the longest drought in the conference.

Prediction: Big East tournament champions. See above.



No. 3 Louisville

On Broadway: Picked to finish eighth and instead landing at third, the Cardinals are the Big East "Cinderella."

Why to watch: Since the first game of the season, when Louisville beat Butler, everyone has been waiting for the shoe to drop for the Cards. Except it hasn't. With essentially no starters back -- Jared Swopshire has been sidelined all year with a groin injury -- the Cards won 23 games.

Who to watch: Kyle Kuric. The junior has been good all season but never more than in the final month of the season. Since the beginning of February -- a span of nine games -- Kuric is averaging 17.1 points, shooting 55 percent from the floor and 49 percent from beyond the arc.

What's at stake: The Cardinals' have been playing with house money all season, but this is a team with a razor-thin margin for error (as the endgame disaster against West Virginia proved) and need wins here to keep their confidence for the NCAA tournament.

Prediction: Louisville gets a rematch of West Virginia in the quarterfinals and gets shot by the musket again. The Mountaineers pulls off another win versus the Ville.




No. 4 Syracuse

On Broadway: Rick Jackson and Scoop Jardine have played together since the sixth grade. Perfect leads for "Blood Brothers."

Why to watch: So while no one was paying much attention, the Orange have quietly gotten their act together. Syracuse won its final five and seven of its last nine to earn the No. 4 seed in the Big East tournament.

Who to watch: Jackson. The long arm of the law at the back of Syracuse's zone, the senior this season has emerged as an all-around star. While his teammates' productivity has wavered and waffled at times, Jackson has been remarkably consistent, averaging 13 points and 10 boards for the Orange.

What's at stake: Despite the excitement the Orange have brought to New York -- six overtimes, anyone? -- Syracuse hasn't won a conference tournament title since the improbable run of Gerry McNamara in 2006. A deep run here could dramatically improve the Cuse's NCAA tournament seed as well.

Prediction: The Orange's zone vs. Notre Dame's shooters? Yeah, unfair matchup. Jim Boeheim goes man-to-man. The Orange get confused and lose in the title game.




No. 5 St. John's

On Broadway: The resurgence of the Red Storm has brought a "Spring Awakening" to basketball in the Big Apple.

Why to watch: The Red Storm have been one of the best stories in the nation all season, their rebirth welcomed by basketball-starved New Yorkers. St. John's narrowly missed out on a double-bye but should play to a raucous home crowd on Wednesday.

Who to watch: Dwight Hardy. The senior has been unstoppable since late January, averaging 23.9 ppg since the win over Duke and topping the 30-point mark three times. Stuck on so many irrelevant St. John's teams, Hardy is practically willing the Red Storm to relevance.

What's at stake: Next year was supposed to be the start of the resurgence for the Red Storm, with a hot recruiting class coming to town. But now that St. John's has New York's attention, it doesn't want to lose it.

Prediction: In the New York State showdown against Syracuse, the Red Storm eventually succumb. But it takes five overtimes.




No. 6 West Virginia

On Broadway: As the ever-demanding Bob Huggins tells his players, "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change."

Why to watch: A year ago, the Mountaineers rode a three-game win streak to a Big East tournament title and ultimately to the Final Four. Guess what? West Virginia heads to New York City this year riding a three-game winning streak once again.

Who to watch: Kevin Jones. It's not a coincidence that the Mountaineers started to play their best basketball -- beating two ranked teams in their last three games -- when Jones started to play his best basketball. The junior has the ability to dominate the box score and did, averaging 17.3 points and 12.3 boards.

What's at stake: West Virginia put any unease about its NCAA hopes to bed when it ousted Louisville in the regular-season finale. As the defending tourney champs, though, there is still plenty of reason to want to represent.

Prediction: The Mountaineers officially have the Cardinals' number and pull off the win in the quarters, but in the semis, the Irish exact revenge for their one loss in the last 12 games.




No. 7 Cincinnati

On Broadway: Thanks to Mick Cronin's tough love, Yancy Gates "Ain't Misbehavin'" and the Bearcats are winning.

Why to watch: The Bearcats played their way into the NCAA field with a strong finish, winning five of their last six. They enter the Big East with their best seed (seventh) since joining the league six years ago.

Who to watch: Gates. Rather than snub his nose at Cronin's discipline, Gates took it to heart and became a better player. He's averaging 14 points and 8.2 rebounds during the Bearcats' strong finish.

What's at stake: The Bearcats haven't had a lot of luck in New York. Last season marked the first time Cincinnati won a Big East tournament game (the Bearcats actually won two) since joining the league. For a team establishing itself late, this is about better NCAA seeding and confidence.

Prediction: The Bearcats get Corey-ed in the quarters by a Villanova team that suddenly discovers it actually has talent.




No. 8 Georgetown

On Broadway: There's only one storyline right now that matters to the Hoyas. As Chris Wright would say, "It's All About Me."

Why to watch: The currently skidding Hoyas (losers of their last three) were once the hottest team in the Big East, winners of eight in a row. If Wright (wrist) can return before Georgetown is eliminated, the Hoyas could rediscover that mojo.

Who to watch: Jason Clark. Without Wright, Clark is the leading scorer in the Big East tournament among active players (97 points in eight games). The Hoyas need production from him, and so far, he hasn't been providing it. Clark scored just 16 points combined in the two games Wright missed.

What's at stake: If Wright can't play, this will be something of a mulligan -- the committee will consider the losses came without him -- but certainly the Hoyas could use a confidence boost that, if necessary, they can win without their point guard.

Prediction: Kemba Walker sees blood and pulls off the victory to eliminate the Hoyas on Wednesday.* (* Presuming Chris Wright can't play.)




No. 9 Connecticut

On Broadway: With five freshmen in the rotation, the Huskies could serve as understudies in "Babes in Arms."

Why to watch: General opinion is that the once red-hot Huskies have hit a wall. The same team that opened the season 10-0 finished 4-7 and lost four of its final five. Can Walker get UConn to regroup?

Who to watch: Walker. If you have to ask, you probably aren't terribly interested in this tournament. Walker averages 23.1 points per game. No one else on the roster is even in double figures. He averages 37 minutes per game. No one else tops 30. And when the game is on the line, the ball will be in his hands. He's a do-not-take-your-eyes-off-him player.

What's at stake: Connecticut has not fared well in the Big East tournament lately, leaving New York without winning a game in each of the past five years. It's the third-longest losing streak in tourney history.

Prediction: The skidding Huskies receive the perfect medicine, an easy rout of DePaul on Tuesday. That renews UConn's confidence and the Huskies beat Georgetown, but can't get by Pittsburgh in the quarterfinals.




No. 10 Villanova

On Broadway: Perfectly coiffed and impeccably groomed even throughout his team's late-season nosedive, Jay Wright will wow them in "Hairspray."

Why to watch: Like Forrest Gump said, you never know what you're going to get. Will the Wildcats actually play like the talent on their roster would indicate they can? Or will they continue to be a disjointed train wreck on an end-of-season slide?

Who to watch: Corey Fisher. During the team's current four-game losing streak, Fisher is 15-of-57 from the field (26.3 percent). That can't continue if the Wildcats expect to snap out of it.

What's at stake: Seeding, certainly. Villanova needs to give the selection committee some reason to believe it deserves a decent seed, but beyond that, the Wildcats need to start believing they are a good team again. This is a good place to figure that out.

Prediction: Nova finally gets off the schneid, beating Cincinnati to advance to the quarterfinals on Thursday, where they face Notre Dame. Unable to sleep on Wednesday night due to visions of drained 3s dancing in their heads, the Cats succumb to the Irish again Thursday.




No. 11 Marquette

On Broadway: Should the Golden Eagles advance, chances are it will be because "The (Jimmy) Butler Did It."

Why to watch: Marquette has been an under-the-radar tough out all season.

Who to watch: Jimmy Butler. The senior has scored in double figures in every Big East game this season and ranks fifth in scoring in the Big East tournament among active players. He's got 64 points in five games.

What's at stake: The Golden Eagles are the closest thing to a bubble team the Big East has. The loss to Seton Hall in the regular-season finale did not help Marquette's cause at all. Joe Lunardi has them in, but the Golden Eagles' RPI is a bubblicious 67. They need to win here to make Selection Sunday tolerable.

Prediction: The Eagles' win against Providence prompts coach Buzz Williams to break out into song. His players are rendered deaf by the a.ssault and lose to West Virginia.

No. 12 Seton Hall

On Broadway: Suspensions, dismissals and gun charges. Kevin Willard is the perfect man to take the stage in "Barnum."

Why to watch: Nobody wants to play the Pirates right now. Once a dysfunctional family, Seton Hall now has found order in its chaos, upsetting St. John's and Marquette to finish the season.

Who to watch: Jeremy Hazell. He is making up for lost time. A broken wrist followed by a terrifying mugging/shooting held the senior out of 13 games. Since his return, the scorer is averaging 18.4 points per game.

What's at stake: This has not been the easiest of first years for Willard, but somehow the Pirates have managed to make some chicken salad here late. Keeping the momentum going would bode well for the Hall.

Prediction: Beating their hated rival Rutgers saps so much energy out of the short-handed Pirates, they fail to beat St. John's on Wednesday.


No. 13 Rutgers

On Broadway: What else for New Jersey's state university … "Jersey Boys."

Why to watch: Rutgers-Seton Hall is a fierce, if understated, rivalry and they meet in the first round Tuesday.

Who to watch: Gil Biruta. The freshman forward has come on toward the end of the season, averaging 13.2 points in the Knights' final six games.

What's at stake: Pride mostly. The Scarlet Knights welcome a good recruiting class next year, so the future looks bright. It would be nice if the present was a little better. Rutgers has lost nine of its last 11.

Prediction: The relatively young Knights can't handle the Hall and exit early. In a mascot head-to-head, however, the Knight prevails over the Pirate.




No. 14 Providence

On Broadway: He shoots, he scores … and scores … and scores. Marshon Brooks is "Show Boat."

Why to watch: Of all the bottom-of-the-league teams, Providence probably has the best shot to put a scare in some people. The Friars played Georgetown, Cincinnati and Notre Dame close down the stretch. And it's also the last go-round for Brooks.

Who to watch: Brooks. He averages 24.8. That's a career night for most people. He's scored in double figures all season and only Louisville (12 points) and West Virginia (13) have been able to slightly contain him during Big East play.

What's at stake: The jury is split on Keno Davis' job security. Winning a game here would certainly help.

Prediction: Brooks scores 53 points. The Friars lose to Marquette, 67-53.


Last edited by Dangerously; 03-08-2011 at 02:31 PM..
 7 years ago '05        #5
monkeysnthings 78 heat pts78
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Tough bracket for Pitt & Notre Dame

Pitt vs. Conn/GTown

ND vs. Nova/Cincy

Hate the fact that St. John's or Syracuse won't make final 4 and the Louisville has an easy ride into it.
 03-07-2011, 02:24 PM         #6
Dangerously  OP
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 monkeysnthings said:
Tough bracket for Pitt & Notre Dame

Pitt vs. Conn/GTown

ND vs. Nova/Cincy

Hate the fact that St. John's or Syracuse won't make final 4 and the Louisville has an easy ride into it.
I don't know, I have high hopes for St. John's, especially since they're getting a first round bye. Louisville definitely has an easier ride, but I'm really pulling for St. John's and Georgetown.
 7 years ago '04        #7
LightsOut 19 heat pts19
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:obamadatas s:

i can't wait for this...my favorite week of the year
 7 years ago '06        #8
gathugga 10 heat pts10
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Feels good to finally be able to sit back and enjoy the games this year instead of praying that my team wins the whole tournament so that we can secure a spot in the dance.

:dancingcool:
 7 years ago '07        #9
TH35 103 heat pts103
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If ND wins this s**t . Pitt or Uconn will win.
 7 years ago '07        #10
TH35 103 heat pts103
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 LightsOut said:
:obamadatas s:

i can't wait for this...my favorite week of the year
Final 4 > Elite 8 > Sweet 16

I hate waiting for the bulls**t games to be over and the better teams to play in conference tournaments. Double Byes
 7 years ago '10        #11
NJallD 41 heat pts41
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 LightsOut said:
:obamadatas s:

i can't wait for this...my favorite week of the year
 7 years ago '04        #12
lilsnatch770|M 101 heat pts101
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 monkeysnthings said:
Tough bracket for Pitt & Notre Dame

Pitt vs. Conn/GTown

ND vs. Nova/Cincy

Hate the fact that St. John's or Syracuse won't make final 4 and the Louisville has an easy ride into it.
How is that a tough road for Notre Dame? You are crazy if you think Cincy or Villanova is a tough game.
 7 years ago '04        #13
lilsnatch770|M 101 heat pts101
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The teams on Pitt's half of the Big East bracket are a combined 5-28 vs the Pitt seniors.
 7 years ago '10        #14
NJallD 41 heat pts41
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 LightsOut said:
:obamadatas s:

i can't wait for this...my favorite week of the year
 7 years ago '07        #15
TH35 103 heat pts103
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 lilsnatch770 said:
The teams on Pitt's half of the Big East bracket are a combined 5-28 vs the Pitt seniors.
Damn your side of the bracket should be cake then.
 7 years ago '05        #16
monkeysnthings 78 heat pts78
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 lilsnatch770 said:
How is that a tough road for Notre Dame? You are crazy if you think Cincy or Villanova is a tough game.
I hear ya but the tournament always has its upsets every year and any team on any given day in the big east
 7 years ago '05        #17
monkeysnthings 78 heat pts78
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 Bronx Goes Hard said:
I don't know, I have high hopes for St. John's, especially since they're getting a first round bye. Louisville definitely has an easier ride, but I'm really pulling for St. John's and Georgetown.
Me too, I'd love to see St. John's do some damage but I'm a Cuse fan so it's a double edged sword.
 7 years ago '04        #18
lilsnatch770|M 101 heat pts101
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 monkeysnthings said:
I hear ya but the tournament always has its upsets every year and any team on any given day in the big east
Notre Dame beat 'Nova - 93-72
And beat Cincinnati - 66-58


 7 years ago '07        #19
TH35 103 heat pts103
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 monkeysnthings said:
I hear ya but the tournament always has its upsets every year and any team on any given day in the big east
Not really... if you think about it one of the better teams will win. I'll give you if Cincy or St. Johns wins, it will be surprising. Well not even St. Johns since its at the Garden. Nobody else would surprise me on a neutral court.

Pittsburgh
Notre Dame
Louisville
Syracuse
St. John's
West Virginia
Cincinnati
Georgetown
Connecticut
Villanova

The teams I didn't mention have no shot at winning the tournament.
 7 years ago '04        #20
likwitcrewmembe 2 heat pts
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Pitt chea! :applause: other than my squad wouldn't mind St Johns winning since they are my second fav Big East team
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