Big East Tournament Primer: Dates, Site, TV Info, Tickets, History, and Current Tourney Outlook

For the 30th straight season, Madison Square Garden will play host to the Big East Tournament, which begins on March 6th.  While Syracuse is the clear favorite at this point, UConn proved last season that anything can happen when tournament play tips off.

Big East Tournament Info

Tournament Site: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Tournament Dates and TV Coverage:

  • First Round: Tuesday, March 6th at 12:00, 2:00, 7:00, and 9:00 (ESPN2/ESPNU)
  • Second Round: Wednesday, March 7th at 12:00, 2:00, 7:00, and 9:00 (ESPN)
  • Quarterfinals: Thursday, March 8th at 12:00, 2:00, 7:00, and 9:00 (ESPN)
  • Semifinals: Friday, March 9th at 7:00 and 9:00 (ESPN)
  • Championship: Saturday, March 10th at 9:00 (ESPN)

Seeding/Bracket Notes: The top four seeds receive a double-bye to the Quarterfinals on Thursday, March 8th.  Seeds five through eight receive a bye to the Second Round on Wednesday, March 7th.


Syracuse coach Jim Boehim during plaider days of yore. (John Dowling)


Big East Tournament Outlook

With less than two weeks remaining in the regular season, Syracuse has all but sewn up the top seed with a 14-1 conference record.  The Orange have relied on their tremendous depth this season, with 10 players averaging double-digit minutes and seven of them averaging at least 6.8 points.  Senior Kris Joseph (14.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg) leads the team in scoring and is the only Syracuse player logging over 30 minutes per game, while Dion Waiters has been college basketball’s best sixth man and averages 12.0 points in just 23.6 minutes per contest.

Six other teams have three, four, or five losses as they battle for the double-bye to the Quarterfinals, so the remaining regular season games will prove critical for tournament positioning.

Marquette has the second-best profile of any team in the league and has won 10 of their last 11 games.  Senior leaders Darius Johnson-Odom (18.6 ppg, 2.9 apg, 40.3 3P%) and Jae Crowder (16.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.3 spg) give the Golden Eagles an impressive one-two punch.

Notre Dame head man Mike Brey deserves serious consideration for Coach of the Year after helping the Irish overcome the early loss of star forward Tim Abromaitis.  After a slow start, the Irish have won eight straight with essentially a six-man rotation.

Georgetown and Louisville should also be tough outs in the tournament.  The Hoyas have been one of the season’s biggest surprises thanks to an efficient defense and a solid mix of youth and experience.  Louisville is finally hitting their stride after an early glut of injuries and poor shooting.  The Cardinals have won seven of their last eight, with the lone loss coming by one point to Syracuse.

Throw in teams like Cincinnati, Seton Hall, and West Virginia who have shown flashes this season, as well as a talented but underachieving UConn squad and upstart South Florida, and you have a loaded field that should be good for five fantastic days of hoops.  Be warned though, you are likely in for a nauseating number of references to how this will be the last Big East Tournament as we know it based on the pending departures of Pitt, Syracuse, and West Virginia.

Big East Tournament History: Past Champions and MVPs

Date Big East Champion Score Runner-Up MVP
1980 Georgetown 87-81 Syracuse Craig Shelton, Georgetown
1981 Syracuse 83-80* Villanova Leo Rautins, Syracuse
1982 Georgetown 72-54 Villanova Eric Floyd, Georgetown
1983 St. John's 85-77 Boston College Chris Mullin, St. John's
1984 Georgetown 82-71* Syracuse Patrick Ewing, Georgetown
1985 Georgetown 92-80 St. John's Patrick Ewing, Georgetown
1986 St. John's 70-69 Syracuse Dwayne Washington, Syracuse
1987 Georgetown 69-59 Syracuse Reggie Williams, Georgetown
1988 Syracuse 85-68 Villanova Sherman Douglas, Syracuse
1989 Georgetown 88-79 Syracuse Charles Smith, Georgetown
1990 Connecticut 78-65 Syracuse Chris Smith, UCONN
1991 Seton Hall 74-62 Georgetown Oliver Taylor, Seton Hall
1992 Syracuse 56-54 Georgetown Alonzo Mourning, Georgetown
1993 Seton Hall 103-70 Syracuse Terry Dehere, Seton Hall
1994 Providence 74-64 Georgetown Michael Smith, Providence
1995 Villanova 94-78 Connecticut Kerry Kittles, Villanova
1996 Connecticut 75-74 Georgetown Victor Page, Georgetown
1997 Boston College 70-58 Villanova Scoonie Penn, Boston College
1998 Connecticut 69-64 Syracuse Khalid El-Amin, UCONN
1999 Connecticut 82-63 St. John's Kevin Freeman, UCONN
2000 St. John's 80-70 Connecticut Bootsy Thonton, St. John's
2001 Boston College 79-57 Pittsburgh Troy Bell, Boston College
2002 Connecticut 74-65* Pittsburgh Caron Butler, UCONN
2003 Pittsburgh 74-56 Connecticut Julius Page, Pittsburgh
2004 Connecticut 61-58 Pittsburgh Ben Gordon, UCONN
2005 Syracuse 68-59 West Virginia Hakim Warrick, Syracuse
2006 Syracuse 65-61 Pittsburgh Gerry McNamara, Syracuse
2007 Georgeton 65-42 Pittsburgh Jeff Green, Georgetown
2008 Pittsburgh 74-65 Georgetown Sam Young, Pittsburgh
2009 Louisville 76-66 Syracuse Jonny Flynn, Syracuse
2010 West Virginia 60-58 Georgetown Da'Sean Butler, WVU
2011 Connecticut 69-66 Louisville Kemba Walker, UCONN
2012 Louisville 50-44 Cincinnati Peyton Siva, Louisville


Click to see Andy’s complete Championship Week Preview.

About Andy Bottoms

While Andy was born and raised in Indiana, he would like to point out that he grew up shooting hoops in his driveway and not against the side of a barn like you see in all the March Madness promos or in the middle of a field like Jimmy Chitwood. Andy ranks among the top bracketologists according to the Bracket Matrix and has provided his projections to Fox Sports for the past three seasons. When not compiling excuses for missing work during the NCAA Tournament, Andy enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. He is a proud IU graduate and co-hosts The Assembly Call postgame show following every IU game. Twitter: @AndyBottoms


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