Wednesday figures to be a big day at the Big East Tournament, with the winners more likely than not clinching at least a postseason berth.
For teams like South Florida and Seton Hall, a win would put the final touches on a resumé that could push them up to a 10 or 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
South Florida vs. Georegetown:
This game could go either way. If Georgetown shows up to play then they will likely advance. However, the key thing to remember about both these teams is that they are extremely inconsistent. South Florida, who has already beaten Georgetown, finished the regular season on a high note and have one win under their belt in this tournament. But the real factor is the intensity that G'Town brings to the floor. They have lost to teams like Rutgers but can beat teams like Villanova. This game should be very close. I think both teams will be prepared because there are postseason implications for both of them.
Prediction: Georgetown 78-South Florida 74
St. John's vs. Marquette:
This matchup might not look all that good on paper, but in reality this should be a fun one to watch. Marquette coach Buzz Williams has revived his team after a bad start to finish fifth in the league. They started the Big East season by losing a bunch of close games, and finished by winning the same way. St. John's has a lot on the line. An NIT bid awaits them with a win, and it might also give coach Norm Roberts another chance next year. In their first meeting, Marquette starter Jimmy Butler hit a shot at the buzzer in overtime to beat the Johnnies at Carnesseca Arena. This time the game is at Madison Square Garden, the second home of St. John's. I think that this one will be close, and I also think that St. John's will take home a win.
Prediction: St. John's 81-Marquette-78 OT
Seton Hall vs. Notre Dame:
After that absolutely insane showing last night from Seton Hall, anything is possible in tonight's game. We know the Pirates will score but will they be able to scrape out a win against a Notre Dame team with Luke Harangody (albeit in a limited role). Notre Dame is playing amazing basketball, but has lost to Seton Hall earlier in the year (the game that Harangody got injured). Seton Hall had a decent crowd last night, and it will probably be bigger tonight with an NCAA tournament bid on the line. If Seton Hall can play some defense and hit their three-point shots then they can win.
Prediction: Seton Hall 92-Notre Dame 91
Cincinnati vs. Louisville
This matchup is probably the least interesting of all of Wednesday's games. Cincinnati is playing at most for an NIT berth, and Louisville is already putting on their dancing shoes. The game itself leans heavily to Louisville, who is coming of a win over No. 1 Syracuse. Meanwhile, Cincy nearly needed overtime to beat No. 14 seed Rutgers last night (or early this morning). Cincinnati doesn't have the offense to beat a team like Louisville, who has a lot of offensive outlets. Expect a lopsided final.
Prediction: Louisville 84-Cincinnati-69