Busting Brackets

Big East basketball: 2024 Conference Tournament Preview

Madison Square Garden will be buzzing with energy as the Big East Tournament tips off. With half of the Big East teams finding themselves in the thick of the NCAA tournament bubble, who will help put themselves on the right side - and wrong side of the bubble?
Connecticut v Marquette
Connecticut v Marquette / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
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Big East Bracketology

How many bubble teams will be on the right of the bubble?

With five teams firmly on the bubble, There will almost certainly be a split as to which teams are on the right and wrong side of the bubble come Selection Sunday. Seton Hall is currently in the best position of any of the five bubble teams and will almost certainly be in the big dance, even if they fail to win a game in the Big East Tournament.

Then there's St. John's and Villanova who are both right on the cut line, and would very likely be in either the last four in or first four out. At the bare minimum, St. John's will have to win their first round matchup against Seton Hall, and should the Red Storm face off against UConn in the semifinals, a win would effectively lock them into the tournament while a loss would likely keep them in either last four in or first four out. For Villanova, it will take two wins to give the Wildcats some breathing room on the right side of the tournament bubble. The Wildcats should win their first round matchup against DePaul, and a loss to the Blue Demons would eliminate Villanova from any at-large chances. Their second round matchup would be against Marquette and is a golden opportunity for Villanova to pick up a signature win that would likely land them in the field of 68.

Butler and Providence both find themselves on the outside looking in and will likely need three wins to feel good about their chances on Selection Sunday. Butler faces off against Xavier in the first round, with the winner moving on to face UConn. Should Butler advance to the second round and manage to defeat UConn, they would move extremely close to the cut line, and likely find themselves in the first four. A loss in the semifinals (to the winner of Seton Hall/St. John's) may still keep them in the NCAA tournament field, but it would likely be in the first four and would need some help from other teams. A trip to the finals would almost certainly lock Butler into the NCAA tournament field. The situation for Providence is very similar, with two wins likely putting them on the right side of the bubble and three wins presumably locking them into the field. Providence will face off against Georgetown in the first round, and should the Friars defeat the Hoyas, they would face off against Creighton in the second round. A win over Creighton would give Providence two wins over the Blue Jays. Providence would likely face either Marquette or Villanova in the semifinals.

While both the Bulldogs and Friars may be on the wrong side of the bubble, anything can happen in March, and their tournament hopes still remain very much alive.