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MBB: Big East Tournament Predictions

NYT.com

NYT.com

The First Round of the BIG EAST Men’s Basketball Tournament is schedule for Wednesday March 9.

For 33 consecutive years the tournament has been played at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Without further ado, here are my predictions for the 2016 Men’s Basketball Big East Tournament:

Wednesday First Round:

No. 8 Georgetown vs No. 9 DePaul, 7 p.m.

Georgetown swept the season series with DePaul pretty handily in the 2015-16 season winning 70-58 on the road in December and  74-63 in in Washington D.C. in January.

My Pick: The DePaul Blue Demons might put up a better fight this time around, but an underachieving Georgetown team will beat the Blue Demons for the third time this season and advance to the quarterfinals.

No. 7 Marquette vs No. 10 St. Johns, 9:30 p.m.

The Marquette Golden Eagles defeated the St. John’s Red Storm twice in the 2015-16 season by a total of 11 points combined. St. John’s will definitely have the home court advantage on Wednesday as the Tournament is played on their home court at Madison Square Garden.

My Pick: The Johnnies are going home, literally. Marquette will defeat Chris Mullen and St. John’s on their home court. St. John’s time will come, but certainly not Wednesday.

Thursday Quarterfinals:

Thursday is a full day for Big East basketball on FOX Sports 1 as four games are scheduled to take place.

No. 1 Villanova vs Winner of Georgetown vs DePaul, 12 p.m.

Villanova has had its scares in the Big East Tournament, but coming in as a number one seed the Wildcats look better than ever.

My Pick: Villanova will run over whoever they play, but in this case I have them defeating Georgetown. The Wildcats had no issue doing this in conference play this year as they defeated the Hoyas by a combined score of 139-121. The Wildcats will be moving on to the semifinals.

No.4 Providence vs No. 5 Butler 2:30 p.m.

This game is an absolute toss up. With identical 10-8 conference records this game can go either way. The Friars did defeat the Bulldogs twice during the regular season, but again it could go either way.

My Pick: I am going to take Butler in this one. It is hard to beat quality teams three times in a row and Butler has won their last three conference games. Although Kris Dunn is considered to be the best player in the Big East, I do not think he will be able to pull out a victory in this one.

No. 2 Xavier vs Winner of Marquette vs St. John’s 7 p.m.

The Xavier Musketeers have been one of the best teams in the nation all year long. After beating No. 1 in the nation Villanova 90-83 in February, the Musketeers will be a tough out in the Big East Tournament.

My Pick: In my mind I don’t see Head Coach Chris Mack’s team losing to either team they play, but again, in my mind the Musketeers will defeat the Golden Eagles and advance to the semifinals.

No. 3 Seton Hall vs No. 6 Creighton, 9:30 p.m.

Seton Hall is sitting at its highest seed in the Big East Tournament since 2002 and has shown the nation that the school from South Orange can play. The Pirates beat the Xavier Musketeers to clinch their first NCAA Tournament bit since 2006 and are looking to make a run in this years tournament.

My Pick: The Pirates will advance to the semifinals. Although splitting the season series with Creighton, Seton Hall has mojo right now and will be playing on Friday night for a chance to head to the finals.

Friday Semifinals:

Villanova vs Butler, 6:30 p.m.

My Pick: The stakes will be set high in this one, but the Villanova Wildcats will advance to the Big East Tournament Championship.

Seton Hall vs Xavier, 9 p.m.

My Pick: Well its simple to me. Seton Hall has something to prove. If the Pirates really want to be heard, they’ll beat Xavier like they did so easily in February. It won’t be easy, but Seton Hall will escape with a win and a trip to the Big East Tournament.

Saturday Finals:

Seton Hall vs Villanova

My Pick: Well in my mind, this game could go either way. Villanova is the reigning tournament champions, but the Pirates are riding high with momentum. In my mind this matchup would be the best for a final. Villanova vs Seton Hall, and although the Pirates lost twice to the Wildcats this year, they have beaten them twice in the past two years, including once in the 2014 Big East Tournament so in my mind, the Pirates will be champions finishing off the tournament in annual upset fashion.

Big East Tournament Champions: Seton Hall

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