Roundtable: Big East men’s basketball tournament champion

2/18/2023 MBB vs. Seton Hall by Sofia Sawchuk, Associate Photo Editor UConn men’s basketball defeat Seton Hall 64-55 at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn. on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023. The Huskies’ Jordan Hawkins and Andre Jackson had impactful performances, with Hawkins picking up 20 points and Jackson scoring a career high of 15 points.

The calendar has turned over and it’s every college basketball fan’s favorite time of the year: March! The Big East Conference tournament is set to start and it’s anybody’s to take home. Marquette, projected to finish ninth, finished atop the league and is the favorite, while Xavier has been a formidable No. 2. Creighton overcame a rough six-game stretch and has been pretty good as of late, while the UConn Huskies come into Madison Square Garden playing their best basketball of the season. Providence and Seton Hall are also contenders, holding their own all year. And who can forget about Georgetown, a team accustomed to playing games in big arenas with few fans rooting for them? Who will take home the hardware though? DC Sports discusses in this week’s roundtable.  

Stratton Stave 

Associate Sports Editor 


UConn Huskies 

There is no team in the country hotter than the Huskies, and they’re the easy choice to take home the hardware in NYC. They’ve won eight of their last nine games, looking just as good as they did in their 14-0 start that had them ranked as high as No. 2 nationally. That start saw them blow out Alabama, the current No. 2 team in the country on a neutral floor. The Huskies’ lineup is stacked, featuring All-Big East first teamers Jordan Hawkins and Adama Sanogo, both of whom have been honored nationally as top-five players in their respective positions. They’re familiar with winning games at MSG after their game against St. John’s and the arena is a third home. It feels right this year and all the pieces have lined up to send them into March Madness with a winning streak. 

Cole Stefan 

Senior Columnist 


Villanova Wildcats 

Multiple teams enter the Big East Tournament on hot streaks, but the one strong stretch that stands out the most is the Villanova Wildcats. If this were any other year since 2013, the Wildcats are runaway favorites to win the tournament, but the stakes have significantly changed with Jay Wright’s retirement. Injuries derailed Villanova over the first few months, but once Justin Moore debuted, things have simply felt different with this program. The Wildcats are 6-5 since Moore made his season debut at the end of January, but have picked up quality wins against the Xavier Musketeers in Cincinnati and a pivotal sweep of the Seton Hall Pirates in the month of February. Moore certainly is an X-factor on the team, but when there is a projected top-10 pick in Cam Whitmore and a second team selection in Eric Dixon, this team is as much of a juggernaut as they were in 2018. Every win after the first round will increase their seemingly minimal chances of making March Madness for a 10th straight time. 

Sam Calhoun 

Staff Writer 


Xavier Musketeers 

John Fanta said it best, if anyone were to have a Kemba Walker-like performance at Madison Square Garden this week, it’s All-Big East First Team guard Souley Boum. I truly believe that in March, you need a guard to lead you through Champ Week and the NCAA Tournament. Boum can do that, averaging 16.8 points per game (PPG), shooting 46.4% from the floor, 42.2% from downtown and 86.5% from the free-throw line. The latter stat could come in handy with games likely to come down to the wire, as Boum has proven to be clutch. Xavier isn’t carried by Boum, however. Despite star forward Zach Freemantle being ruled out for the rest of the season, the starting lineup is not to be trifled with. Colby Jones and Jack Nunge were named to All-Big East Second Team and Honorable Mention, respectively. They have the green light to shoot from wherever and they will be huge impacts this week for the Musketeers to make a run to possibly their first Big East Tournament title. 

Oscar Frost 

Campus Correspondent 


Marquette Golden Eagles 

Marquette is the number one seed in the Big East for a reason, and at Madison Square Garden, they have a great shot at winning their first Big East tournament title. A large part of this is due to their guard, Tyler Kolek. An underrated player in the Big East, Kolek has the second most assists per game in the nation this season, with 7.9. He has also managed 12.7 PPG, meaning he can score and assist his teammates. The sophomore has also had two 20-plus point games in his last three going into the tournament, so the momentum is with him. As a squad, the Golden Eagles are on a six-game winning streak, which clinched the Big East regular season title. Their overall conference record of 17-3 put them two games ahead of their nearest rival, Xavier. This Big East regular season title also means that they will have a bye in the first round, allowing for the players to be more rested. Overall, being the first seed means that they have the easiest route to the final, as well as reflecting the great momentum the Golden Eagles are carrying into the tournament, giving them a great shot at coming out on top in the Big East. 

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