Big East Tournament 2019: Bracket, Schedule and Championship Odds

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 11, 2019

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 09: Eric Paschall #4 of the Villanova Wildcats in action against Myles Cale #22 and Quincy McKnight #0 of the Seton Hall Pirates during a college basketball game at Prudential Center on March 9, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. Seton Hall defeated Villanova 79-75. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Big East tournament has produced some of the most unlikely moments of Championship Week in past years. 

Given how up-and-down most of the Big East programs have been this season, we'll be in for a wild few days at Madison Square Garden, New York. 

Even Villanova and Marquette, who are the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively, weren't perfect in conference play, and as a perfect representation of that, both lost their respective regular-season finales. 

Chaos is expected from the start of the tournament, as there are a few Big East teams chasing NCAA men's basketball tournament berths after experiencing the roller coaster that was the regular season. 




The #MarchToMSG Is Over. The Stage Is Set See you at @TheGarden Wednesday night. #BEtourney | @CBBonFOX https://t.co/kWQUIFQep9




MyBookie Betting Odds @betmybookie

📢Breaking Odds to Win Big East Conference📢 Villanova+200 Marquette+210 Creighton+460 Seton Hall+560 Xavier+1300 St. John's+1300 Georgetown+1800 Butler+2000 Providence+3200 DePaul+4600 https://t.co/8LegPT5vt4 https://t.co/1mRGrZ8J5O



All Times ET. 

Wednesday, March 13

No. 8 Providence vs. No. 9 Butler (7 p.m., FS1) 

No. 7 St. John's vs. No. 10 DePaul (9:30 p.m., FS1) 


Thursday, March 14

No. 1 Villanova vs. Providence/Butler winner (Noon, FS1) 

No. 4 Xavier vs. No. 5 Creighton (2:30 p.m., FS1) 

No. 2 Marquette vs. St. John's/DePaul (7 p.m., FS1) 

No. 3 Seton Hall vs. No. 6 Georgetown (9:30 p.m., FS1) 


Friday, March 15

Semifinal No. 1 (6:30 p.m., FS1)

Semifinal No. 2 (9 p.m., FS1) 


Saturday, March 16

Championship (6:30 p.m., Fox) 


Can Villanova Earn 3rd Straight Big East Tournament Crown? 

Villanova's been the dominant force of the Big East since it moved to its current alignment before the 2013-14 season. 

The Wildcats have won the last two Big East tournaments and three of the last four, but Jay Wright's team isn't as clear-cut of a favorite as it has been in previous years. 

The defending national champion experienced a rough patch in February, when it lost four games during a five-game stretch. And just as the Wildcats thought they were back on track, Seton Hall knocked them off Saturday. 

Villanova carries valuable experience at the top of its roster in Phil Booth, Eric Paschall and Colin Gillespie, but there's also plenty of inexperience within the squad, which has led to some growing pains. 

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 09: Collin Gillespie #2 of the Villanova Wildcats in action against Sandro Mamukelashvili #23 of the Seton Hall Pirates during a college basketball game at Prudential Center on March 9, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. Seton Hall defeated Vi
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Unlike previous seasons, Villanova hasn't had a consistent top scorer down the stretch, as five different players have led the team in scoring over the last six games. 

Having different players able to take the reigns of the offense is important during the postseason, especially when opposing defenses focus on stopping Gillespie and Booth. 

The good news for the Wildcats is they received a favorable draw, as they're 4-0 against Butler and Providence, one of which will advance to the quarterfinals to face them.

A potential semifinal clash with Creighton or Xavier appears to favor the Wildcats as well since they went 3-1 against the Bluejays and Musketeers in the regular season. 

If Villanova gets to the championship game, it'll be able to benefit from its big-game experience against the latest challenger to its Big East throne. 

The Wildcats have defeated Xavier, Creighton and Providence to win their last three Big East titles, and they'll likely be able to add a fourth team to that list if form holds and Marquette advances to the final. 


Which Bubble Teams Will Thrive At MSG? 

To say the middle of the Big East is a sloppy mess is a massive understatement. 

According to ESPN.com's Joe Lunardi, St. John's and Seton Hall are projected to join Villanova and Marquette in the field of 68, while Creighton resides in the first four out and Butler sits in the next four out. 

SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean also has four Big East teams making the NCAA tournament in his latest projection, with Creighton as the second team out. 

In order to feel comfortable about its NCAA tournament hopes, Creighton needs to beat Xavier in the quarterfinals and upset Villanova in the semifinals. 

The Bluejays are more than capable of making a run to the Big East tournament final, as they enter New York City on a five-game winning streak, which is their longest run of the season. 

John Minchillo/Associated Press

Xavier and Georgetown are capable of making runs at Madison Square Garden, but you could say that about basically every Big East team with the way the regular season played out. 

In order to make serious noise on the bubble, the Musketeers and Hoyas would likely have to reach the final by knocking off the conference's best teams. 

Seton Hall can diffuse some of its resume concerns by eliminating Georgetown in the quarterfinals and then delivering a blow to a struggling Marquette team. 

Although St. John's is the No. 7 seed, it might be in the best position of the group to solidify its spot in the NCAA tournament since it has to face DePaul in the first round and then Marquette in the quarterfinals. 

But since the Big East has produced some wacky results, we're not exactly confident in any of the programs mentioned above. 

Even if a team like Creighton or Georgetown makes a surge to join the collection of Big East teams in the Big Dance, we aren't going to give an endorsement to any of those teams to make deep runs. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.


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