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T.M.

Athletics

Motley Athletics: Big East Men’s Basketball

by Max Gosselin-Ildari on March 12, 2011.

Of all the Conference Tournaments coming up this week, the Big East tournament prevails yet again at being the most compelling of the lot. With seven ranked teams and eleven of the sixteen schools bidding for a tournament birth, the Big East tournament offers a bracket overflowing with game-of-the-week match-ups and rivalry games. Lets get down to it.

The favorites to win this coveted prize are Pittsburgh and Notre Dame. Pitt has a complete squad led by two elite guards, Ashton Gibbs and Brad Wanamaker. Does anyone else find it absurd that there is a player with the last name Wanamaker? Notre Dame, however, is on fire. They have won 11 of their last 12 including games in Connecticut and Pittsburgh. Not easy. Also, Tyler Hansbrough’s ostentatious little brother Ben Hansbrough has been absolutely clutch down the stretch.

The sleeper in this tournament has to be Marquette. The Golden Eagles have lost 13 games this year, but 11 of those were by deficits under 10 points. This team can compete with anyone, they just have a problem getting ahead late in games. Led by some hard-nosed veterans and an outstanding coach with an outstanding bald head, Marquette will make a run to secure their tournament entry.

And the winner is….I’m really not sure. The Big East tournament is harder to predict than the NCAA tournament! Well, here it goes:

Louisville Cardinals over Syracuse Orange

The reason for this being the delusion of my own prescience. But also both these teams are hot and they have the incentive to capture a 2-seed. Plus, sometimes it just feels as if Rick Pitno and Jim Boehim will find a way.

The tournament starts Tuesday, March 8th.

-Max

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Max Gosselin-Ildari