A strong showing in the Big East Tournament has often equaled NCAA tourney success.
Villanova not only won the Big Dance last season but also cut down the nets at Madison Square Garden a few weeks earlier, beating Providence in the Big East Tournament title game. When the Wildcats won it all in 2016, they made it to the tourney championship game but ended up falling to Seton Hall. Going back a few years, a Big East tournament title propelled both the 2013 Louisville Cardinals and the 2011 UConn Huskies to NCAA championships.
It remains to be seen if Villanova is up to the task of winning two tournaments in the span of a month this year. While the Wildcats are the co-favorites to win this week’s tourney along with Marquette, it’s important to remember that Villanova hasn’t won a non-home game since late January (an 86-74 win at DePaul). There are plenty of Villanova alums in Manhattan, of course, but it’s still a concern. We saw St. John’s take advantage of that Garden crowd last month when they dumped ’Nova 71-65 behind 22 points from LJ Figueroa.
Here are the latest Big East tournament odds.
SETON HALL 8/1
ST JOHN'S 12/1
The best value here is definitely the middle tier teams. Co-favorite Marquette is reeling heading into the BE tourney having lost four straight. Creighton, Seton Hall, Xavier and Georgetown have all proven to be capable of beating top teams.