2010 Big East Tourney: UConn, Seton Hall On Crash Course To Finals
With the 2010 Big East Tournament match ups and seeds officially set, It looks to be another highly competitive and dramatic affair once again.
WIth seeds 1 through 13 all having been considered or still considered for an at-large birth, there are many teams who are talented enough to claim this years tournament championship.
Two teams that pop out to me are Connecticut and Seton Hall.
They are both right there on the bubble and will be bringing their "A" games to the Garden. Because of their seedings, they both have been given lenient first round opponents and winnable match ups should they move on.
It's going to be a wild ride for these two teams. We have two teams who could find themselves crashing in the finals.
Click continue to see their round by round match ups and why they will win each game.
First Round: 10 Seed Seton Hall vs. 15 Seed Providence
Seton Hall takes their hot finish in the regular season into the Big East Tournament to face the Providence Friars who they just beat this past Saturday.
Providence plays no defense. Seton Hall plays too much offense. This was evidently shown in Seton Hall's 92-80 victory over the Friars at the Dunk'n Donuts Center in Providence this past Saturday.
The 15 seed Friars should be easily put away by Seton Hall once again in the first round on Tuesday, 7pm, ESPNU.
First Round: 12 Seed Connecticut Vs. 13 Seed St. Johns
Connecticut may actually be benefiting from being given the 12 seed in this years tournament. Last year they entered the tournament as a potential 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament and had nothing to really play for, which was made evident in the quarterfinal historical six-OT game vs. Syracuse.
However, this year UConn has played itself out of the NCAA field, but seems to still have a shot if they can pull off some upsets in the Big East Tournament.
Connecticut has already beaten St. Johns this year, and even though this game is technically a home game for the Red Storm, they are essentially playing half heartily compared to Connecticut's hopes for the postseason.
Connecticut should zoom by St. Johns easily, regardless of the Red Storm's home court advantage, and move onto the next round.
Second Round: 10 Seed Seton Hall Vs. 7 Seed Notre Dame
After Seton Hall cruises by Providence in the first round, they will be playing the Notre Dame Fightin' Irish at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
Seton Hall has already beaten Notre Dame this year at home, with Harangody playing.
Whether you want to argue that Notre Dame is a better team with or without Harangody, Seton Hall's Center Herb Pope will be too much on the glass without Harangody this time around.
The Pirates figured Notre Dame out the first time, it shouldn't be too hard for them to get passed them once again without Harangody this time.
Second Round: 12 Seed Connecticut Vs. 5 Seed Marquette
Marquette's slim 70-68 victory over UConn on the road was due to a last second effort by Jimmy Butler.
This time around, Marquette is already a lock to make the NCAA tournament field, while Connecticut will be seeking revenge and a big win to maybe seal their own at-large bid.
Connecticut's fan base is very close to Madison Square Garden and they will certainly be a factor.
Expect a loud student section rooting on the Huskies in what will be a Connecticut victory.
Quarter finals: 10 Seed Seton Hall Vs. 2 Seed Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is another team that Seton Hall has defeated this season. Yes, the victory was at home but how big of a difference is playing at MSG than playing at the Prudential Center for these Seton Hall Pirates, besides for maybe a few more fans?
Pittsburgh is a heavy loaded guard team that relies on the three-ball as well as the mid-range jump shot.
With Seton Hall's good low post defense, it looks like Pittsburgh's only chances will come from their outside shooting.
The game can go either way, but Seton Hall has the advantage because if this game is to actually be played, Seton Hall will be playing to secure an NCAA bid while this game really doesn't affect Pittsburgh's seeding because regardless they will probably end up a 3 seed.
Quarter finals: 12 Seed Connecticut Vs. 4 Seed Villanova
Remember when Connecticut gave Villanova a beat down on their own home court this season? Yeah, It can certainly happen again, this time at Madison Square Garden.
There is not much else to say besides that Villanova is playing for much less than Connecticut and they are under-matched inside and have less talented guards the Connecticut.
Semifinals: 10 Seed Seton Hall Vs. 3/7 Seed West Virginia/ Louisville
Yes, this game poises a huge challenge for Seton Hall, regardless of whom they play, however they have the offensive strategy to beat both of them.
If they play Louisville, then bravo because they've already figured them out this season, beating them 80-77 at home.
If they play West Virginia, then their road can finally have a pothole in it. West Virginia has no point guard and Seton Hall has two really good ones (Jordan Theodore and Eugene Harvey, both of which are averaging five assists a game).
They also have the manpower down low in Memphis transfer Jeff Robinson (12 points, 6 rebounds per game) and Herb Pope (12 points, 11 rebounds per game) to match up against West Virginia's three star forwards De'Sean Butler, Devin E'banks, and Kevin Jones.
West Virgina lives and dies by De'sean Butler and his three-ball. They don't have the offensive sets to deliver consistent baskets but when he gets hot, he leads his team to victory.
If the Seton Hall guards can use their quickness to mob the ball when he has it, the game will go to Seton Hall.
SemiFinals: 12 Seed Connecticut vs 1 Seed Syracuse (assumption)
We all know what happened at the Carrier Dome the last time these two teams played. Connecticut stormed back to tie the game and then one little turnover cost them the game.
The Garden is known to be filled with many Connecticut fans and Syracuse fans so the neutral site has no advantages this time for Syracuse.
Lets face it, if this game is to actually be played, Connecticut will not only be seeking revenge for last years six-OT loss, but they will also be playing for much more than Syracuse, who will likely be a 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Look for Connecticut to strive for perfection with their ball control this time as Kemba Walker will penetrate the zone often to keep Syracuse's zone shifting and tiresome.
The Final: 10 Seed Seton Hall Vs. 12 Seed Connecticut
This historical game of two double-digit seeds making the final would be important to NCAA seeding and full of heart.
Time will only tell if my prediction is accurate, but don't be the one who sits there saying "I should have trusted that article" when March 13th comes.
Prediction: Seton Hall keeps Connecticut out of transition and forces them to shoot the three-ball, ending in a Seton Hall victory and poor offensive effort for Connecticut.