The Big East tournament is as wide open as any. It is headed by 3 teams all between +225 and +400 depending on where you look (Creighton, Villanova and Connecticut), while the rest of the team who are on the bubble or have a shot at winning this tournament fall between +700 to +2000 (Xavier, Seton Hall and St. John’s). The field is rounded out by Georgetown, Marquette, Depaul, Providence and Depaul who I consider to have little or no shot at winning the tournament.
Villanova won the regular season, so they will be the one seed in the tournament but they come in very injured with Gillespie (four year starting pg) out for the year, and Justin Moore (sophomore guard averaging 12.7 ppg) most likely out for the entire tournament. Creighton is the two, but they also have their questions at the moment. Coach McDermott has made airwaves recently for his comments to his players following a loss at Xavier saying they need to stay on the same “plantation.” He was suspended indefinitely before it was announced yesterday that he would be back coaching for the Big East tournament. Even with him back, you still have to question the players’ trust in him and in each other. Last team I will discuss is Uconn. They head into the tournament as the three seed, but I think they are worthy of being the favorite. They were ravaged by Covid during conference play and James Bouknight missed eight games. Despite the adversity, they are playing the best ball in the Big East currently and have the depth and talent to make a run not only in the Big East Tournament but in the NCAA Tournament as well.
Kings of the Conference: Despite all the injuries, Villanova is still the king of the conference. It seems like every year the Wildcats are either the regular season champs or the conference tournament champs. They are still the number one seed and though they are down two key players, they have a nice path to the finals.
Darkhorses: St. John’s is a sleeper. Depending on where you look, you can get them 20-1 to win the tournament (I bet them at this number). Their path breaks down to Seton Hall, Nova (most likely) and then championship. I’ve been very impressed by St. John’s in the last month. Their last two games without presumptive Defensive Freshman of the Year, Posh Alexander, they have overcome two double digit deficits. They also beat Villanova early in the year when Nova was at full strength, so 20-1 to win 3 games doesn’t seem like an impossible task – especially when you can hedge come game 3.
.25U St. John’s +2000
1U mechanical parlay UConn