Written by Todd Parmele, Hoopwriters
Opening Round Matchups will be televised by the Big East Website
No. 9 Cincinnati vs. No. 16 DePaul, March 10 at 12 p.m.:
DePaul finished with a winless regular season after losing 48-40 to Georgetown. It gets even worse when you factor in that their last win came against Alcorn State on Dec. 28.
Last year, DePaul’s misery would have been over, as only the top 12 teams were invited to the Big East Tournament. It is pointless to attempt to analyze this because the outcome is nearly set in stone.
Cincy won the only meeting of the year 59-55 at the Allstate Arena in Chicago. At 18-13 overall, Cincinnati is NIT bound, especially after losing three straight. Cincy is coming off a bad loss in their last game to Seton Hall 67-63 at home. Earlier in the week, they were upset by South Florida 70-59.
DePaul only wins if the entire Cincy team forgets to set their clock’s back, thus missing the first half.
Dar Tucker has announced that he may declare for the NBA Draft this June. Hopefully, for Depaul fans, Jerry Wainwright does the right thing and resigns.
Prediction: Cincy over Depaul 65-58. Winner will play No. 8 Providence at 12pm on Wednesday.
All stats listed in this article are for Big East games only.
DePaul, (8-23, 0-18)
Cincinnati (18-13, 8-10)
Dar Tucker: 16.9 ppg, 24% three point shooter
Deonta Vaughn: 15.3 ppg, 4.7 assists, 4 rebounds
Will Walker: 16.4 ppg, 44% three point shooter
Yancy Gates: 10.7 ppg, 6.0 rebounds
Mac Koshwal: 11.7 ppg, 8.8 rebounds
Mike Williams: 11.6 ppg, 5.6 rebounds
No. 13 St. Johns vs. No. 12 Georgetown, March 10 at 2pm:
No team has had a more disappointing regular season than Georgetown, a team most experts picked to finish in the top five of the Big East. The Big East coaches may have known otherwise as they picked Georgetown to finish seventh.
Georgetown’s Big East season started off well with a win over then No.1 UConn on Dec. 26 at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. They also knocked off Memphis 79-70 and Maryland by 27 in the regular season.
St.John’s won the lone in season battle in overtime 59-56 on March 3, a game in which Georgetown blew a 15-point lead.
St. John’s finished its season with a 74-55 loss to Notre Dame. They had won their previous two conference games versus Georgetown and DePaul. Their most notable conference win came against Notre Dame 71-65 on Jan. 3.
Prediction: Georgetown over St. John’s 68-56. Winner will play No. 5 Marquette on Wednesday at 2 pm.
Georgetown: (16-12, 7-11)
St. Johns: (15-16, 6-12)
DeJuan Summers: 12.7 ppg, 39% 3-point
Paris Horne: 16.1 ppg, 1.83 steals
Chris Wright: 13.1 ppg, 3.5 assists
D.J. Kennedy: 12. 4 ppg, 6.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists
Greg Monroe: 13.3, 7.2 rebounds
Sean Evans: 9.5 ppg, 7.2 rebounds
No. 15 Rutgers vs. No. 10 Notre Dame, March 10 at 7pm:
Notre Dame is led by reigning Big East Player of the Luke Harangody, but even he could not lead the Irish to a top eight finish in the Big East.
The Irish backcourt of Kyle McAlrney and Torin Jackson had a down year. The biggest win on the year for Notre Dame came on Feb. 12 when they knocked off eventual Big East Champion Louisville 90-57.
Rutgers has two wins this year, one against South Florida and one versus DePaul. Rutgers ended their regular season with a win over South Florida at the RAC.
Rutgers is led by freshman Mike Rosario who averages 15.4 ppg in conference games, but he also takes a lot of shots and is prone to turnovers.
Prediction: Notre Dame over Rutgers 78-55. Winner will play No.7 West Virginia at 7pm Wednesday.
Notre Dame: (17-13, 8-10)
Rutgers: (11-20, 2-16)
Luke Harangody: 25.2 ppg, 12.8 rebounds
Mike Rosario: 15.4 ppg, 3 turnovers
Kyle McAlrney: 14.4 ppg, 39% three point
Anthony Farmer: 9.1 ppg, 2.8 assists
Ryan Ayers: 10.9 ppg, 42.9% three point
Gregory Enchenique: 7.9 ppg
No. 14 South Florida vs. No. 11 Seton Hall, March 10 at 9pm:
Seton Hall has been a streaky team at one point they won five straight. They started off the season with big non conference wins versus USC and Virginia Tech.
Seton Hall won their last game of the year versus Cincinnati 67-63 on Saturday.
South Florida is led by do-everything guard Dominque Jones. In most leagues. Jones would be vying for Player of the Year honors, but not in the Big East.
South Florida is capable of winning big games, as they showed when they knocked-off Marquette 57-56 on Feb. 6 in Tampa. It was the biggest win in the program’s history.
Seton Hall won the lone matchup with South Florida on Feb. 25 a 75-60 victory in South Orange, NJ.
Prediction: Seton Hall over South Florida 74-64. Winner will play No. 6 Syracuse Wednesday at 9pm.
Seton Hall: (16-14, 7-11)
South Florida: (9-21, 4-14
Jeremy Hazell: 22.4 ppg, 34% three point
Dominque Jones: 18.9 ppg, 6.3 rebounds, 3 assists
Robert Mitchell: 14.2, 7.7 rebounds
Augustu Gilchrist: 11.3 ppg, 4.2 rebounds
Eugene Harvey: 12.7 ppg, 5.0 assists
Jesus Verdejo: 9.5 ppg, 3.5 rebounds
Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Connecticut (9)
2. Louisville (3)
3. Pittsburgh (3)
4. Notre Dame (1)
9. West Virginia
13. Seton Hall
14. St. John’s
Final Standings/ Ranked by Seed in Big East Tournament
1. Louisville 16-2
2. Pittsburgh 15-3
3. Connecituct 15-3
4. Villanova 13-5
5. Marquette 12-6
6. Syracuse 11-7
7. West Virginia 10-8
8. Providence 10-8
9. Cincinnati 8-10
10. Notre Dame 8-10
12. Seton Hall 7-11
13. St. Johns 6-12
14. South Florida 4-14
15. Rutgers 2-16
16. DePaul 0-18
For more College Basketball info go to HoopWriters.com
I posted 2nd Round predictions at Hoopwriters.com and also at bleacherreport.com