Questions we want answered early on Day 2
The second round of the Big East tournament can either wear you down or warm you up for the quarterfinals where the big guns, seeds 1-4, are waiting. Here are the questions we want answered in the early games on Day 2:
Game 1: UConn vs. Georgetown, noon (ESPN)
Can the Hoyas find a way to win without Chris Wright?
Georgetown’s offensive catalyst and second-leading scorer broke his hand Feb. 23 against Cincinnati and the one-time top-10 team hasn’t won since. It’s not on Austin Freeman’s shoulders, as he’s averaging 18 points per game and still getting off quality shots despite double teams. Guys like Jason Clark, who went just 1 of 10 in the rematch against Cincinnati in the regular season finale, and Julian Vaughn, who didn’t have a field goal in that contest, to right the ship. Because even if Wright does return for the NCAA tournament, it’s unlikely he’ll be the same player that led the Hoyas to eight straight wins earlier in conference play.
Game 2: Rutgers vs. St. John’s, 2:20 p.m. (ESPN)
Are the Johnnies ready for the big stage?
We know RU’s Jonathan Mitchell is after scoring 25 points in a first-round OT win over Seton Hall. Steve Lavin’s Red Storm grabbed everyone’s attention after beating six ranked teams during the season, but now they will be the hunted instead of the hunter in the most significant Big East tournament in nearly a decade. This group of St. John’s seniors has never advanced to the quarterfinals. Now, they’re seeding alone says they should.
"I can just sense it… we’re ready for another challenge and this is a great challenge,” said guard Dwight Hardy. “I think we’re ready to step up to the plate and handle it.”