Patrick Ewing, Georgetown Upset No. 17 Creighton to Win Big East Championship

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIMarch 14, 2021

Georgetown's Chudier Bile (4) dunks the ball in front of Creighton's Ryan Kalkbrenner (32) and Antwann Jones (0) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the championship of the Big East Conference tournament Saturday, March 13, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

The Georgetown Hoyas captured the Big East tournament for the first time since 2007 on Saturday, defeating No. 2-seeded Creighton 73-48 and securing and automatic bid into the NCAA tournament in Indiana next week. 

It's a conference-record eighth Big East tournament title for the Hoyas. Georgetown entered the week as the No. 8 seed and won four games in four days, taking down No. 1 seed Villanova and No. 5 Seton Hall en route to a victory over the Bluejays on Saturday. 

The win gives head coach Patrick Ewing a reason to be happier leaving Madison Square Garden this week than he was when he arrived earlier this week. 

Georgetown (13-12) was considered likely to miss the NCAA tournament when the weekend began. Now there's no doubt the Hoyas will be dancing after a five-year hiatus—and raising another Big East banner when they return home.


Notable Performers

Chudier Bile, F, Georgetown Hoyas: 19 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks

Jahvon Blair, G, Georgetown Hoyas: 18 points, 5 rebounds, 4 three-pointers

Qudus Wahab, C, Georgetown Hoyas: 11 points, 12 rebounds

Marcus Zegarowski, G, Creighton Bluejays: 17 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists

Mitchell Ballock, G, Creighton Bluejays: 8 points, 5 assists

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Hoyas Stay Hot At Ewing's House

Georgetown's run through the Big East tournament was thrilling from the start and borderline jaw-dropping by the end. 

The Hoyas not only knocked off the top two seeds in the conference after going a combined 1-3 against Villanova and Creighton during the regular season, they earned just their third win over a team ranked in the top 25 this season. 


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𝗗𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗱 𝗖𝗮𝗿𝗲𝘆 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗗𝗖! https://t.co/4aji24m5Ws

None of that looked remotely possible at the start of the week. In fact, it looked like that bubble was getting ready to burst early on in Saturday's title game. The Hoyas didn't knock down a field goal until more than four minutes into the first half and continued to shoot from the outside despite missing four of five attempts from behind the arc to start the game. 

The shot selections weren't bad, exactly. Georgetown just couldn't get them to drop. But the Hoyas didn't panic. They stuck to their game plan and trusted the buckets would eventually come.

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🐶🔥 @dante_Harris3 with a beautiful step back for @GeorgetownHoops https://t.co/l5kXR7tbmm


𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙪𝙩-𝙗𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙨𝙡𝙖𝙢! @GeorgetownHoops on a 7⃣-0⃣ run and we're all tied up. https://t.co/NvipFQtS0q

They were right. 

Georgetown ended the first half on an epic 23-2 run over nine minutes to enter halftime up 36-18. The Hoyas out-rebounded the Bluejays 28-19 in the first frame, including 10 offensive rebounds leading to a 12-0 edge in second-chance points. 

Ewing's team simply outworked Creighton from the beginning to end—another 8-0 run at the start of the second half restoring whatever momentum had faded during halftime. 

Now headed to the NCAA tournament, Georgetown may still be an underdog, but it certainly has college basketball's attention.


Creighton Comes Up Empty Again

Make it 0-3 for the Bluejays in the Big East tournament title game.

After falling to Providence in 2014 and Villanova in 2017, Creighton again couldn't finish off a championship run on the tournament's final day. 

In all likelihood, the Bluejays (20-8) will be back playing for another Big East banner, but those are concerns for next year. This year's team, which entered Saturday ranked No. 17, still has plenty of expectations to live up to.

Head coach Greg McDermott has yet to lead his team to the Sweet 16 and beyond. His current roster—a talented mix of experienced upperclassmen led by Ballock and Zegarowski—has as much potential to break through that barrier as any Creighton team in recent memory. 


𝗠𝗘𝗚𝗔𝗟𝗢𝗗𝗢𝗡 𝘽𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙤𝙘𝙠 💣 @BluejayMBB x #BEtourney https://t.co/usLVGdpJgS

Saturday's loss wasn't good by any means, but it's over. So too is the Big East season. Now heading to Indiana and a new stage on which to show off, the Bluejays will look to put their experience to good use by brushing past a bad loss and getting ready to start a new winning streak. 

The Big East tournament was ultimately a win for the conference. Seton Hall, Xavier and UConn all kept themselves in contention for the NCAA tournament while Creighton and Georgetown assured themselves a spot in the bracket. 

The conference's success came at a cost to Creighton. It's now on the school to show it can brush it off and continue proving the Big East remains as competitive as any league in Division I.


What's Next

Both the Hoyas and Bluejays await their NCAA tournament fate with the bracket reveal set for 6 p.m. ET on CBS and the Bleacher Report app Sunday.