The Big East Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden tips off Wednesday, March 11th! Highly regarded as one of the most exciting conference tournaments in the country, the Big East Championship always seems to come through in the clutch and gives us college basketball fans that first real taste of March Madness. Being one of the ‘Power 5’ conferences, the Big East usually has anywhere from 4-6 teams that make it to the dance, and this year is no different. The top-6 seeds in the tournament (#1 Seton Hall, #2 Villanova, #3 Creighton, #4 Providence, #5 Butler, #6 Marquette) have done more than enough to already earn themselves tournament bids, but if we know college hoops at MSG, this weekend is about to get wild.
The 2020 season for the Big East was extremely strong compared to conferences like the Big 10 and Pac 10. Creighton, Villanova, and Seton Hall all ended the regular-season with 13-5 records in conference play and had to split a three-way tie for first place. If that doesn’t scream extra competition, I don’t know what does. Providence, Marquette, and Butler are all extremely solid Selection Sunday teams as well, while Xavier rounds out as the #7 seed and most likely the only team that could decide their own fate this weekend.
The Bracket Is ?.
— #BIGEASThoops (@BIGEASTMBB) March 8, 2020
While Nova, Seton Hall, and Creighton are all fantastic programs, and all have excellent chances of winning the conference tournament this year, I’m going to be putting my money on one of the hottest teams in the country over the last month. That’s right, my 2020 Big East Champs prediction is the Providence Friars.
Every ranked team entering a matchup with Providence in 2020 would tell you right now that they don’t want to see the last month’s version of this Friars team. Providence have pulled off so many upsets to finish their season off that they made history doing so. The Friars defeated Butler, Creighton, Seton Hall, Marquette and Villanova in the month of February, all of whom entered the game ranked in the AP poll. The Friars are the 5th team to ever secure 5 wins over ranked opponents in a single calendar month during the regular season (ESPN Stats and Info).
Take the extreme value on the Friars this weekend at +550 odds, as I do believe their seed and placement in the bracket gives them a fantastic shot to make the final round if they continue to stay hot.
Big East Tournament Odds
Seton Hall +250
St. John’s +4000