Last season, Big East Basketball produced one of the most exciting regular-season title races in the nation. The conference’s 3-way tie at the top of the standings, between Villanova, Creighton, and Seton Hall, was the second occurrence of shared dominance in the last 8 seasons (2012-13). However, the Providence Friars were only a game away from making it the conference’s first 4-way tie in Big East history.
Due to numerous in-season interruptions, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, similar drama did not unfold this year. Villanova and head coach Jay Wright was able to secure another regular-season title for the powerful Wildcats program, despite losing point guard Collin Gillespie to a year-ending injury. In the last eight seasons, Villanova has notched six outright regular-season conference titles and a share of the conference title in seven.
Behind the Wildcats are a whole cast of household names, programs, and coaches who will look to solidify their position within the March Madness field or create a surprise entry with a run in a suddenly more open tournament field.
With the return of Connecticut back into the Big East after a 7-year hiatus, the tournament structure has been slightly augmented to adjust for the conference’s 11th member. The extra addition will only heighten the potential drama that always tends to unfold at the storied venue of Madison Square Garden.
Could we potentially witness another 7-overtime thriller between conference rivals? Do we stand to see another team catch fire just in time to blaze through the March Madness field? If history has told us anything, it’s that anything and everything can happen when the Big East rolls into MSG.