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Big East Basketball Tournament Preview

3/10/09


It is that time again, college basketball conference tournament time and do we have some compelling tournament match ups this time around!

There are plenty of conferences out there chalk full of talent, but few, if any can match that of the talent in the Big East conference. All season long in college basketball Big East teams have just dominated the competition. Every year the Big East has entertaining teams with NBA type talent, but this season sticks out amongst the rest.

This year has been full of great games and competitive match ups in the Big East conference as they have had arguably the best teams in the country. With that being said the Big East tournament could shape out to be one of the best conference tournaments in college basketball history. It is a bold statement, but even the lesser teams in the Big East are far better than some of top teams in other conferences.

If there were to be a favorite coming into this tournament it would have to be the Pittsburgh Panthers who are coming off another huge win over the now former number one team in the country in the UConn Huskies. The first win over Jim Calhounís team was huge, but the recent win over the Huskies showed that the Panthers will be a force to be reckoned with in both the conference tournament and the Big Dance.

It will not be an easy road in the Big East tournament for the Panthers by any means though as they have some pretty tough competition ahead of them. Somehow, someway Rick Pitinoís Louisville Cardinals were able to pull out the rug beneath both Pitt and UConn and come away with the Big East title, but I get the distinct feeling that the celebration will be cut short for the Cardinals in their conference tournament.

Coming into the conference tournament Louisville, Pittsburgh, UConn and Villanova are the top four teams who will not play until the Quarterfinals. The winner of this conference tourney will most likely be one of these four teams, but there are a few teams to keep your eye on to pull off the upset.

There are only two teams in the Big East tourney that I think could surprise some people. The Marquette Golden Eagles lead the Big East conference for quite some time this season until they hit the toughest part of their schedule which knocked them out of the running for the Big East title. They havenít had much success against the top four teams, but if they get the right match ups in the later rounds they could make some waves. Notre Dame is another team to look for as they have arguably the best scorer in the conference and quite possibly the country in Luke Harangody. It has been an incredibly rocky season for the Fighting Irish, but when they are playing at the top of their game they can compete with anyone.

Although there could be an upset here as the conference tournaments always seem to have at least a few, the winner of the Big East will either be UConn or Pitt. As of right now, I would say that Pitt has the best chance to win the Big East tournament after the way they handled the Huskies, but if Pitt somehow gets knocked out in the early rounds UConn will have the edge.

 

Current Odds to win the Big East Tournament Courtesy of Sportsbook.com

 Connecticut +250

Louisville +250

Pittsburgh +175

Villanova +700

 Field (Any Other Team) +400

 

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