What: 2023 Big East Tournament
Where: Madison Square Garden
When: March 8 - 11
TV: FS1 for the first nine games, FOX for the Championship
Defending Champions: Villanova Wildcats
Most Championships: Georgetown Hoyas (8 titles)
New Champs? - For the first time since 1983 none of the top 3 seeds are previous winners. No. 1 Marquette has never made the finals while No. 2 Xavier lost in it’s only appearance in 2015. Third seeded Creighton has lost the last two finals and is 0-4 all-time. The last first time champ came in 2010 when former member West Virginia edged Georgetown, 60-58. Despite being the 4 seed, KenPom has UConn as a slight favorite to grab their 8th title.
The Big East starts Wednesday at the Garden. Zach Freemantle is permanently out for Xavier, but don't count them out. Since Freemantle left the lineup X has risen from 22nd to 16th and their three losses are by a combined four points. pic.twitter.com/YzxCG74wq0— Ken Pomeroy (@kenpomeroy) March 7, 2023
Coaching Changes? - Both Georgetown and St. John’s come to the BET with uncertainty swirling at the top around Patrick Ewing and Mike Anderson. Could Ewing coach his final game with the Hoyas at his former NBA home? That was certainly always a risk when Georgetown hired the school legend and it looks like it’s come true. The situation is different with St. John’s in that Anderson has kept his winning records streak in tact but they are a fast paced team that’s going nowhere in particular. Rick Pitino’s name is on the lips of fans of both schools.
Postseason Implications: For the last two months the Big East has looked like a five-bid league. That’s still the most likely scenario with the four ranked teams - Marquette, UConn, Xavier and Creighton - all firmly in the field. Providence has been teetering recently by losing 3 of 4 with the only win coming against the lowly Hoyas. With Ed Cooley’s name being rumored from places like Kentucky to Georgetown, things could get interesting for the Friars on Selection Sunday if they lose their opener to the favored Huskies. Villanova and Seton Hall are the two realistic bid thieves. Jay Wright is of course gone but many of his Wildcats remain from a program that has won 5 of the last 7 BETs played. Justin Moore has provided a huge lift recently for Kyle Neptune. Shaheen Holloway has done a good job getting the Pirates to .500 in the league in Year 1 but they look like an NIT squad after fading late. St. John’s also has NIT potential.
It all starts today with (8) St. John’s vs (9) Butler at 3 pm so leave your comments below!