Written by Todd Parmelee, HoopWriters
Big East Tournament Second Round Breakdown
For a look at the breakdown of the Opening Round click here.
All Games will be televised by ESPN
No. 8 Providence vs. No. 16 DePaul/No.8 Cincinnati Wednesday 12 PM
New Providence College coach, Keno Davis, has the Friars fans excited and has his team on the cusp of an NCAA Tournament berth.
The program notched a huge victory two weeks ago when the beat then No.1 Pittsburgh 81-73 on Feb. 24 at the Dunkin Donuts Center.
Providence does not have a great NCAA resume with their other big win coming against Syracuse 100-94 on Jan. 28. Non-conference losses to Baylor, Northeastern and Boston College do not help the Friars NCAA chances, which is why they are still considered on the bubble.
Therefore Providence most likely needs a win in the first round to get into the big dance.
Providence is led by Honorable Mention Big East guard/forward Weyinimi Efejuku. Efejuku is just one of several seniors that leads this team (McDermott, Xavier and Hanke are seniors also).
On Jan. 3 Providence defeated DePaul 64-54 at home. They also defeated Cincinnati 87-79 on Jan. 8 on the road and 72-63 at home on Jan. 19.
The winner of Providence vs. DePaul/Cincinnati plays No.1 seed Louisville at 12PM on Thursday. Providence lost at Louisville 94-76 on Feb. 18.
Prediction: No. 8 Providence over No. 9 Cincinnati 74-62. Providence then goes on to upset No.1 seed Louisville on Thursday 76-72.
For complete Providence College stats click here.
All stats listed in this article are for Big East games only
No. 8 Providence: (18-12, 10-8)
No. 9 Cincinnati: (18-13, 8-10)
No. 16 DePaul: (8-23, 0-18)
Efejuku: 16.4 ppg, 41% 3-pt
Vaughn: 15.3 ppg, 4.7 assists
Dar Tucker: 16.9 ppg
Curry: 13.9 ppg, 45% 3-pt
Gates: 10.7 ppg
Koshwal: 11.7 ppg, 8.8 rebs
Brooks: 9.6 ppg
Williams: 11.6 ppg
Walker: 16.4 ppg, 44% 3-pt
Xavier: 9.7 ppg, 33% 3-pt
Dixon: 7.4 ppg
Currie: 4.1 ppg
Kale: 9.4 ppg
Davis: 6.6 ppg
Kelly: 3.1 ppg
No.5 Marquette vs. No. 13 St.John’s/No. 12Georgetown Wednesday at 2PM
No team is struggling more coming into the tournament than Marquette, losers of four straight. They also have been without four-year starter Dominic James since the first half of the UConn game. James’ career is over at Marquette and it is no wonder that his team has struggled since he was lost with a season-ending injury.
It should be noted that the four losses in a row have came against the conference’s elite (Syracuse, Louisville, UConn and Pitt).
Marquette still has some very good weapons in First-Team All-Conference selection Jerel McNeal and Second-Team selection Wesley Mathews.
Marquette has two wins versus Georgetown this year (Jan. 31 94-82, Feb. 22 78-72) and a victory over St. John’s 73-59 on Feb. 14.
Head Coach Buzz Williams has to get his team’s confidence back. A win over Georgetown/St.John’s will setup a matchup against Villanova Thursday at 2PM. Villanova is a team Marquette matches up well against.
Marquette and Villanova split during the regular season with both team’s winning at home.
For Complete Marquette stats click here.
Prediction: No. 5 Marquette over No. 12Georgetown 76-72. No.4 Villanova over No. 5 Marquette 82-79.
Georgetown: (16-12, 7-11)
St.John’s (15-16, 6-12
McNeal: 22.3 ppg, 4.6 assists
Summers: 12.8 ppg, 39% 3-pt
Paris Horne: 16.1 ppg, 1.8 steals
Mathews: 18.1 ppg, 38% 3-pt
Wright: 12.7 ppg, 3.5 assists
Kennedy: 12.4 ppg, 6.2 rebs
Hayward: 15.4 ppg, 7.7 rebs
Monroe: 12.9 ppg, 7.2 rebs
Evans: 9.5 ppg, 7.2 rebs
Butler: 5.8 ppg, 4.7 rebs
Freeman: 10.1 ppg
Burrell: 9.2 ppg
Acker: 1.6 ppg
Sapp: 5.4 ppg
Thomas: 7.1 pg
No. 7 West Virginia vs. No. 10 Notre Dame/No.15 Rutgers Wednesday 7PM
West Virginia has one win versus the conference’s top six teams and that was against Villanova 93-72 on Feb 13th.
On Feb. 18 West Virginia knocked off Notre Dame 79-68 at home. They also defeated Rutgers at the RAC 74-56 on Feb. 22.
A win over Louisville this past Saturday at home would have put West Virginia in the NCAA Tournament, but they could not get it done losing 62-59.
West Virginia is led by Second-Team All-Conference selection De’sean Butler and Honorable Mention All-Conference selection Alex Ruoff.
The winner of West Virginia vs. Notre Dame/Rutgers plays against No.2 seed Pittsburgh on Thursday at 7 PM. West Virginia lost both its matchups to Pitt this year (70-59 at Pitt on Feb. 9 and 79-67 Jan. 25 at home).
Key Stat: Opponents are shooting 43 percent from the field, while West Virginia is only shooting 42 percent. West Virginia shoots 74 percent from the free throw line in conference games.
For Complete West Virginia Stats click here.
Prediction: Notre Dame over West Virginia 82-80 in overtime. No. 2 Pitt over No.10 Notre Dame 78-72
No. 7 West Virginia: (21-10,10-8)
No. 10 Notre Dame (17-13,8-10)
No.1 5 Rutgers (11-20, 2-16)
Butler: 18.2 ppg, 6.0 rebs
Harangody: 25.2 ppg, 12.8 rebs
Rosario: 15.4 ppg, 3.0 turnovers
Ruoff: 15.1 ppg, 84%-Free Throw
McAlrney: 14.4 ppg
Farmer: 9.1 ppg
Ebanks: 11.1 ppg, 8.2 rebs
Ayers: 10.9 ppg
Enchenique: 7.9 ppg
Jones: 7.7 ppg, 5.2 rebs
Jackson: 9.9 ppg
Chandler: 7 ppg
Bryant: 7.4 ppg
Zeller: 4.4 ppg
Griffin: 4.9 ppg, 40% 3-pt
No. 6 Syracuse vs. No. 11 Seton Hall/No. 14 USF 9PM Wednesday
Syracuse is the only team that I could see pulling off the improbable, four wins in four days. The main reason is Syracuse has an excellent back court duo of Johnny Flynn and Eric Devendorf, add in Andy Rautins three-point shooting and they look even more capable of capturing the Big East Tournament Championship.
Syracuse also comes into the Big East Tournament one of the hottest teams in the conference, winners of four straight. That makes them the second-hottest team behind Louisville, winners of seven straight.
Johnny Flynn is one seventeen finalists for the Cousy Award. Among other candidates from the Big East are Marquette’s Dominic James, UConn’s A.J. Price and Pitt’s Levance Fields.
To vote for the Cousy award click here. Dominic James was leading the fan vote after I voted with 40 percent.
Not a Typo: Possibly the most intriguing stat in the history of college hoops is the fact that in conference games, Onuaku shoots 63 percent from the field, but only 16 percent from the free throw line (10-60).
Key Stat:In conference games Syracuse shoots nearly 49 percent from the field while holding opponents to 42 percent. They only have a slight rebounding advantage (.5 rebound) and they shoot 36 percent from three point range.
Syracuse was 4-5 in conference games played outside the Carrier Dome. Like usual they led the conference in home game attendance.
Syracuse only has one win versus the conference’s top six teams and that came against struggling Marquette on Saturday. Syracuse was swept by both Georgetown and Villanova during the regular season.
The Orange has non-conference wins versus Kansas, Florida and Memphis.
Syracuse blew-out Seton Hall 100-76 Dec. 30 at the Carrier Dome, but narrowly escaped past the South Florida 59-55 Jan. 2 in Tampa.
The winner of Syracuse vs. Seton Hall/USF plays UConn on Thursday at 9pm.
Syracuse lost to UConn 63-49 in Storrs, Conn on Feb.11th.
Prediction: No. 6 Syracuse over No. 11 Seton Hall 90-78. No.3 UConn over No. 6 Syracuse 78-74.
For complete Syracuse Stats click here
No. 6 Syracuse: (23-8, 11-7)
No. 11 Seton Hall: (16-14, 7-11)
No. 14 USF :(9-21, 4-14)
Johnny Flynn: 17.1 ppg, 7.1 assists
Hazell: 22.4 ppg, 34% 3-pt
Jones: 18.9 ppg, 6.3 rebs
Eric Devendorf: 16.1 ppg, 39% 3pt
Mitchell: 14.2 ppg, 7.7 rebs
Gilchrist: 11.3 ppg, 4.2 rebs
Paul Harris: 12.2 ppg, 6.9 rebs
Harvey: 12.7 ppg, 5.0 assists
Verdejo: 9.5 ppg, 3.5 rebs
Arinize Onuaku: 9.3 ppg, 7.4rebs
Gause: 7.7 ppg
Howard: 8.8 ppg
Andy Rautins: 10.5 ppg, 38% 3-pt
Garcia: 7.1 ppg
Ajayi: 6.0 ppg