We are about a month into the 2023-2024 NCAA basketball season and are getting an idea of what teams are going to be. Big East Basketball is representing well as I suspected having 3 teams in the top 10 in the AP top 25 rankings. Although anything can happen in the madness of March, we are here to give a review of some of the top Big East teams as well as predictions on the standings/Big East Champions.
As reigning NCAA champs from last year’s march madness, the UConn huskies haven’t lost a beat. Although the Huskies lost their two best players to the NBA in Adama Sanogo (Chicago Bulls), and Jordan Hawkins (New Orleans Pelicans), the returning plays have kept them atop the Big East as well as receiving transfer Cam Spencer from Rutgers. Senior guard Tristen Newton has taken on the role of leading the team to an 8-1 record. Donovan Clingan although he is no Adama Sanogo, has been tenacious and a value to this Huskies as a big man. Cam Spencer has been a great addition to the team shooting 41.9% from three.
The Huskies have had a tough schedule playing Texas, Kansas, and North Carolina nine games into the year and won 2 out of 3. The fact that they have taken on a tough schedule is amazing for the sport because people want to see top teams playing each other rather than playing smaller teams. It is also a good sign for Huskies testing them early so they will be prepared for the tournament when they must face tough schools.
Marquette Golden Eagles
Marquette was another favorite coming into the season as returning Big East champs. Good news for the Golden Eagles is that their starting lineup looks just about the same other than losing Olivier-Maxence Prosper (Dallas Mavericks). Tyler Kolek staying is their biggest win, and having basically the same starting lineup means the chemistry is already there. They were already great last year so having another year together greatly increases their chances of going deep into the tournament.
The Golden Eagles did lose their last game to an underrated Wisconsin Badgers team and lost by 3 to the former #1 ranked Purdue Boilermakers. They did have some good wins against the Illinois Fighting Illini and beat the Kansas Jayhawks by 14 points. Tyler Kolek and Kam Jones are leading the team in scoring just as they did last season.