2010 Big East Tournament Predictions

The 31st annual Big East Tournament kicks off Tuesday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. Each year the tournament provides exciting and thrilling matchups. This year is not expected to be any different and the MarquetteHoops.com staff will try and play Nostradamus and predict who comes out on top this season.

Alex Jesswein
Predicted Champion: Syracuse

Day 1 (Tuesday)
(9) South Florida over (16) DePaul
(13) St. John's over (12) Connecticut
(10) Seton Hall over (15) Providence
(11) Cincinnati over (14) Rutgers

Day 2 (Wednesday)
(8) Georgetown over (9) South Florida
(5) Marquette over (13) St. John's
(10) Seton Hall over (7) Notre Dame
(6) Louisville over (11) Cincinnati

Day 3 (Thursday)
(1) Syracuse over (8) Georgetown
(5) Marquette over (4) Villanova
(10) Seton Hall over (2) Pittsburgh
(3) West Virginia over (6) Louisville

Day 4 (Friday)
(1) Syracuse over (5) Marquette
(3) West Virginia over (10) Seton Hall

Championship
(1) Syracuse over (3) West Virginia

BET Thoughts: The only upset I see in the first round is St. John's over Connecticut. With tournament hopes on the line the last few games UConn has laid a few eggs and it seems like they have packed it in for the season. In the second round, I think Seton Hall beats Notre Dame. The Irish have been on quite a run lately but it will end on Tuesday. On the third day, I picked a pair of upsets, Marquette over Villanova and Seton Hall over Pittsburgh. Villanova has beat Marquette twice by a combined four points but this time the Golden Eagles will get revenge. With tournament hopes on the line I have a feeling Seton Hall will rise to the occasion and knock off Pittsburgh to get into the NCAA tournament. I see the two higher seeded teams winning on Friday and ultimately Syracuse will come home with the crown.


Jeff Wolf
Predicted Champion: Syracuse

Day 1 (Tuesday)
(9) South Florida over (16) DePaul
(12) Connecticut over (13) St. John's
(10) Seton Hall over (15) Providence
(14) Rutgers over (11) Cincinnati

Day 2 (Wednesday)
(9) South Florida over (8) Georgetown
(5) Marquette over (12) Connecticut
(10) Seton Hall over (7) Notre Dame
(6) Louisville over (14) Rutgers

Day 3 (Thursday)
(1) Syracuse over (9) South Florida
(4) Villanova over (5) Marquette
(2) Pittsburgh over (10) Seton Hall
(6) Louisville over (3) West Virginia

Day 4 (Friday)
(1) Syracuse over (4) Villanova
(6) Louisville over (2) Pittsburgh

Championship
(1) Syracuse over (6) Louisville

BET Thoughts: As always, the final two rounds of this tournament produce some Instant Classic games for ESPN. Syracuse's control and precision barely wins out over Villanova's organized chaos in one semi. The second semifinal is a battle of two well-coached defensive stalwarts, Louisville and Pittsburgh. Supporters of the half-court trap will be glued to their TVs (and TiVo-ing the next day's re-airing on Instant Classics).

In the end, Louisville secures its NCAA bid (if it was still in doubt) with a win. Syracuse then exacts some vengeance on the Cardinals by blowing them away in the championship game, all but securing themselves a No. 1 overall seed on Selection Sunday.

In other tournament action, West Virginia keeps with its recent history of early upsets by falling to the 'Ville in round two. Cincinnati secures its ticket to the NIT by falling to Rutgers, and ND keeps its NCAA forecast muddy by falling to Seton Hall.


Mike Adleman
Predicted Champion: Georgetown

Day 1 (Tuesday)
(9) South Florida over (16) DePaul
(13) St. John's over (12) Connecticut
(10) Seton Hall over (15) Providence
(11) Cincinnati over (14) Rutgers

Day 2 (Wednesday)
(8) Georgetown over (9) South Florida
(5) Marquette over (13) St. John's
(7) Notre Dame over (10) Seton Hall
(6) Louisville over (11) Cincinnati

Day 3 (Thursday)
(8) Georgetown over (1) Syracuse
(5) Marquette over (4) Villanova
(7) Notre Dame over (2) Pittsburgh
(3) West Virginia over (6) Louisville

Day 4 (Friday)
(8) Georgetown over (5) Marquette
(3) West Virginia over (7) Notre Dame

Championship
(8) Georgetown over (3) West Virginia

BET Thoughts:St. John's uses the hometown advantage to beat a struggling Connecticut in the opening round. Georgetown gets its revenge over Dominique Jones and USF. Marquette shows Villanova how tough it is to beat a team three times in one season. A surging Hoyas squad takes the championship, knocking off both Syracuse and West Virginia on the shoulders of a healthy Austin Freeman and Greg Monroe (my vote for Big East Player Of the Year).


Nick Chmurski
Predicted Champion: Syracuse

Day 1 (Tuesday) (9) South Florida over (16) DePaul
(12) Connecticut over (13) St. John's
(10) Seton Hall over (15) Providence
(11) Cincinnati over (14) Rutgers

Day 2 (Wednesday)
(8) Georgetown over (9) South Florida
(5) Marquette over (12) Connecticut
(10) Seton Hall over (7) Notre Dame
(6) Louisville over (11) Cincinnati

Day 3 (Thursday)
(1) Syracuse over (8) Georgetown
(5) Marquette over (4) Villanova
(10) Seton Hall over (2) Pittsburgh
(6) Louisville over (3) West Virginia

Day 4 (Friday)
(1) Syracuse over (5) Marquette
(6) Louisville over (10) Seton Hall

Championship
(1) Syracuse over (6) Louisville

BET Thoughts: The Big East tournament is arguably the most exciting conference tournament in all of college basketball, and this year should be no exception. As Tuesday approaches, there remain several teams within the conference that find themselves in need of a big showing in the Big Apple to solidify their post-season futures. Couple this with the tremendous amount of parity shown throughout the league this season, and we could be in line for some of the best college basketball of the season.

I expect this year's tournament to feature an abundance of surprises, as desperate teams will be looking to do anything and everything to extend their seasons. Of these teams, my tournament dark horse is Seton Hall.

So, why Seton Hall? Well, two reasons. First, the Pirates are capable of putting up points in bunches. They average over 80 points per game and play a very up-tempo style, which can be problematic for less-athletic teams. Second and perhaps more importantly, Seton Hall has Jeremy Hazell. The junior guard is one of the top scorers in the league and has all the skills to be this year's impact player in the tournament. The Pirates are an experienced bunch that oozes with talent, but just have failed to put it all together this year for an extended stretch. Look for Bobby Gonzalez's group to be a tough out this week and don't be surprised if they make a run.

The game of the tournament I think will come in the second round where I expect Connecticut to meet Marquette. While some think Marquette has done enough in the recent weeks to solidify their spot in the NCAA tournament, it is safe to say that the Golden Eagles would rather not take any chances. Expect Buzz Williams to have his group ready to go as they attempt to wash the bad taste out their mouth spawning from a heartbreaking overtime loss to rival Notre Dame Saturday. Connecticut, on the other hand, definitely needs a few wins next week to sleep easy Saturday night heading into Selection Sunday. While the Huskies have impressive wins over West Virginia, Villanova and Texas, their record (17-14) is far from attractive and they have also dropped three straight games. Needless to say UConn will be incredibly hungry coming into this potential matchup against Marquette, and if this meeting is anything like the teams' last – a 70-68 buzzer-beater win for MU – we're all in for a treat.

I also remain optimistic that Marquette could make some noise this week as well. Despite a tough potential opening game matchup with UConn, a third date against a beatable Villanova team hangs in the balance. If MU can make it past the Huskies, I would look for them to avenge two heart-breaking losses earlier this season and defeat the Wildcats in the quarterfinals.

Unfortunately where I see it all ending for the Golden Eagles is with Syracuse in the semi-finals. The Orange are probably the most talented team in the conference and with a bit of motivation from their most recent loss to Louisville, I expect them to be hoisting the tournament trophy come Saturday evening. Syracuse has also proved to be one of the most thrilling teams to watch in the tournament year in and year out. Whether it be their Gerry McNamara-lead four wins in four days in route to the tournament title in 2006 or their implausible six-overtime win over Connecticut in the semi-finals last year, the Orange always seem to play well in Madison Square Garden.


Marco Radenkovich
Predicted Champion: Syracuse

Day 1 (Tuesday)
(9) South Florida over (16) DePaul
(12) Connecticut over (13) St. John's
(10) Seton Hall over (15) Providence
(11) Cincinnati over (14) Rutgers

Day 2 (Wednesday)
(9) South Florida over (8) Georgetown
(5) Marquette over (12) Connecticut
(7) Notre Dame over (10) Seton Hall
(6) Louisville over (11) Cincinnati

Day 3 (Thursday)
(1) Syracuse over (9) South Florida
(5) Marquette over (4) Villanova
(7) Notre Dame over (2) Pittsburgh
(3) West Virginia over (6) Louisville

Day 4 (Friday)
(1) Syracuse over (5) Marquette
(3) West Virginia over (7) Notre Dame

Championship
(1) Syracuse over (3) West Virginia


John Dodds
Predicted Champion: West Virginia

Day 1 (Tuesday)
(9) South Florida over (16) DePaul
(12) Connecticut over (13) St. John's
(10) Seton Hall over (15) Providence
(11) Cincinnati over (14) Rutgers

Day 2 (Wednesday)
(8) Georgetown over (9) South Florida
(12) Connecticut over (5) Marquette (in OT)
(7) Notre Dame over (10) Seton Hall
(6) Louisville over (11) Cincinnati

Day 3 (Thursday)
(1) Syracuse over (8) Georgetown
(4) Villanova over (12) Connecticut
(2) Pittsburgh over (7) Notre Dame
(3) West Virginia over (6) Louisville

Day 4 (Friday)
(1) Syracuse over (4) Villanova
(3) West Virginia over (2) Pittsburgh

Championship
(3) West Virginia over (1) Syracuse

BET Thoughts: Marquette is very unlucky as it gets the toughest match up on Day 2 even though MU has the best record. But just like 2003 when MU was upset by UAB, MU will get some much needed rest in preparation for a Thursday game next week in the NCAA's. I like West Virginia, Syracuse and Pitt and I am guessing that Huggins can see it through and that Dixon, who always has Pitt playing well in NYC will lose and rest this year


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