Big East Tournament 2013 Scores: Breaking Down Day 2's Most Intriguing Results
On Day 2 of the 2013 Big East tournament, we were graced with four games of elimination-style basketball. When it was all said and done, the results were as expected, but the overall performances were surprising.
The question is what made Day 2's results so intriguing?
Some teams were in need of a convincing win due to their statuses as bubble teams. Others were expected to win, but not quite by the margin that they achieved victory.
So how did it all go down on Day 2 of the Big East tournament?
Cincinnati Comfortably Tops Providence
Final Score: 61-44
First Half: 31-23, Cincinnati
Second Half: 30-21, Cincinnati
Largest Margin: 17, Cincinnati (Twice)
Entering this game, the Cincinnati Bearcats were seeded ninth and the Providence Friars were seeded eighth. Cincinnati was a marginally better out-of-conference team, however, which suggested that they were the better squad.
Less than seven minutes into this game, we had our answer—they are.
The Bearcats jumped out to a 13-2 lead behind a balanced offensive attack. Even as Providence began to close the gap, Cincinnati refused to let up.
With JaQuon Parker lighting it up from beyond the arc, Cincinnati led 28-11 with 4:30 remaining in the first half.
Providence closed out the first half on a 12-3 run, thus creating momentum entering the second half. They kept it close, as neither team managed to score very often as Cincinnati led 43-37 with 4:46 remaining.
Out of nowhere, Cincinnati closed out on an 18-7 run. They led from wire-to-wire and, at times, dominated a team that was supposed to be their equal.
An impressive win by a team that was looking to pad their NCAA tournament resume. That they did.
Notre Dame Holds on Against Rutgers
Final Score: 69-61, Notre Dame
First Half: 33-19, Notre Dame
Second Half: 42-36, Rutgers
Largest Margin: 16, Notre Dame (Twice)
From the opening tip to the end of the first half, it was all Notre Dame. They jumped out to an early 9-3 lead and led by as many as 16 points in that time.
And then the second half rolled around.
After keeping Rutgers at bay for the first five minutes of the second half, the Scarlet Knights stunned the Fighting Irish with an extended run. In fact, Rutgers had the lead down to five with just over five minutes remaining.
The lead was down to six with 1:30 remaining in the game.
Although Jerian Grant managed to put the Scarlet Knights away, this was a disappointing way of closing out ND's first tournament game. Although their spot in the NCAA tournament is safe, seeding is an issue for the Irish.
If this game is any sign of the future, they may not last much longer in the Big East tournament.
Syracuse Struggles with Seton Hall
Final Score: 75-63, Syracuse
First Half: 34-34
Second Half: 41-29, Syracuse
Largest Margin: 17, Syracuse
Never ones to be intimidated, Seton Hall took it to Syracuse early, jumping out to a 13-3 lead. This not only caught the Orange by storm, but had everyone in attendance thinking upset.
It wasn't until Baye Keita hit a free throw with 38 seconds remaining in the first half that Syracuse tied it at 34-34.
This was a very discouraging beginning for Syracuse, a team that stumbled into the Big East tournament. They lost four of their final six regular-season games and appeared to be on pace for yet another loss.
It wasn't until a C.J. Fair jump shot with 12:47 remaining in the second half that Syracuse took a lead that remained in tact.
With roughly seven minutes remaining, the Orange finally broke it open. They maintained the lead and proceeded to win and advance to the quarterfinals.
Even still, this was hardly a win to instill confidence in Syracuse's future.
Villanova Uncomfortably Control St. John's
Final Score: 66-53, Villanova
First Half: 24-24
Second Half: 42-29, Villanova
Largest Margin: 14, Villanova (Twice)
As it presently stands, the 20-12 Villanova Wildcats are firmly supplanted on the bubble for the NCAA tournament. With this in mind, it was imperative that they earn a convincing victory over an inferior opponent.
After finishing the first half in a 24-24 tie against 16-15 St. John's, their tournament dreams were in doubt.
Mouphtaou Yarou and JayVaughn Pinkston managed to carry the Wildcats to a convincing second-half performance. The question is was an escape of St. John's enough to secure Villanova a spot in the NCAA tournament?
If we're doing the eye test, this doesn't pass it. Fortunately, the Wildcats closed out in a way that could put the selection committee's doubts to rest.
With the opportunity to solidify their status as a Big East power, however, Villanova came up short.