Big East Tournament 2013: Predictions for Each Game of the Tournament
It is the end of an era for the Big East Conference this week. With massive conference realignment happening across the country, this is the last year we will see this beloved and historic tournament as we know it.
The 2013 Big East Tournament got underway Tuesday night with Seton Hall knocking off South Florida in overtime and Rutgers defeating DePaul.
The tournament gets into full swing on Wednesday, with four second round games. Here are predictions for each game of the 2013 Big East Tournament from the second round to the title game.
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Cincinnati vs. Providence
Cincinnati is basically a lock for the NCAA Tournament, but one win in the Big East Tournament would put them in for sure. Providence, on the other hand, will probably need to at least make the semifinals this week if they want to dance in the NCAA Tournament next week.
Providence won the first matchup between these two teams this season, but the result will be different this time around. Guards Cashmere Wright and Sean Kilpatrick will play much better this time for the Bearcats and lead them into the quarterfinals with a victory.
Seton Hall vs. Syracuse
This will very likely be the most lopsided game of the entire Big East Tournament. Syracuse won by 11 when they visited Seton Hall in February, and on a neutral court they should be able to do some more damage.
The Orange have been in a slump, losing four of their last five, but all four of those losses came not only to ranked competition, but also to the three teams who all shared the conference title.
Syracuse is battle-tested and, therefore, their game against Seton Hall will not really be a battle.
St. John's vs Villanova
The Red Storm and Wildcats met on the second day of January for each team's first game of Big East play. The Wildcats walked away in that game with an overtime victory.
Villanova is going to need another win if they want to dance in the big dance. The Wildcats are currently projected to be just in the tournament, but that could all change if they lose to St. John's.
Meanwhile, the Red Storm has had a disappointing 16-14 season. They just have not been quite good enough to consistently compete in the Big East.
Rutgers vs Notre Dame
Notre Dame is just trying to improve their seed for the NCAA Tournament this week. Beating Rutgers may not help them get a better seed, but it would help them from drastically falling in the rankings.
These two teams played a close game in January which Notre Dame won by three. Rutgers is hoping that they can get the win this time and keep their season alive for at least another day. Notre Dame may just be too tough for them though.
Pick: Notre Dame
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Cincinnati vs. Georgetown
After getting off to a slow start in conference play, the Hoyas won 12 of their final 13 games to clinch a share of the regular season title and clinch the No. 1 seed in the Big East Tournament.
In the midst of that winning streak, the Hoyas went on the road and knocked off the Bearcats.
Cincinnati will be a lock for the tournament regardless of what happens in this game, but the Hoyas will be looking to at least maintain their spot on the No. 2 line, and potentially move up to that top line.
Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh
The Orange had a shot not only at getting a double-bye in the Big East Tournament, but also at getting the conference title. They fell apart against some of the top teams, though, and ultimately slipped down to the No. 5 spot in the Big East.
Pittsburgh managed to win their final four games against a rather easy schedule, and worked their way up to the No. 4 spot to earn the double-bye in the tournament.
The two teams will meet up again in what should be a very exciting quarterfinal showdown on Thursday. Syracuse will use an easy win against Seton Hall to work out of their recent slump and use the moment to beat the Panthers.
Villanova vs. Louisville
Louisville had a tough three-game losing streak in January; one of those losses came from Villanova. Outside of that streak, though, the Cardinals have been outstanding this season.
Louisville is one of the most well rounded teams in all of college basketball. They spread out their scoring among lots of different players, and this makes it very difficult to defeat them.
The Cardinals are on a seven game winning streak right now, and it will be tough for anybody in the Big East to break that up.
Notre Dame vs Marquette
Marquette is finally starting to get the respect they have deserved all season. The Golden Eagles clinched a share of the Big East title with a buzzer beater layup against St. John's on Saturday, and the win got them up to No. 12 in the AP Poll.
Notre Dame struggled on the road at Marquette at the beginning of March, and those struggles will likely carry over into New York. The Golden Eagles are really good, and will be a tough team to knock out.
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Georgetown vs. Syracuse
How fitting that the two rivals will meet for one final time in the Big East Tournament.
The first two meetings between these teams this season were fairly easy wins for the Hoyas, but this time will be different. The Orange are going to get their form back in this tournament and they will give the Hoyas all they can handle.
This final meeting between Big East rivals will be a game to remember.
Louisville vs. Marquette
The first time the Cardinals and Golden Eagles met, it was not much of a game. Louisville shot the ball great from the floor and absolutely handled Marquette with ease.
Much like the other semifinal game, though, this rematch will be very different. Both of these teams have legitimate hopes of making the Final Four this year, and seeding in the tournament could be very important in helping them get there.
This will be an absolute war, but in the end Louisville is still the better side.
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When they met in January, the Orange went on the road to defeat the No. 1 team in the country. When they met in March, Louisville went on the road to repay the Orange for that defeat.
The season series is tied 1-1 now, and the Big East title will be on the line in the third meeting.
The big matchup to watch in this game will be the point guard battle. Young sophomore Michael Carter-Williams for Syracuse versus veteran senior guard Peyton Siva.
Just like the first two games between these two teams, the third game will be a great battle. Louisville will once again show that they are the better team, though, by winning the Big East title.