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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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First round

8) Butler vs. 9) Xavier

For the third time in four years, Butler and Xavier are set to face off in the first round of the Big East Tournament. The previous two matchups both went in favor of Butler with similar circumstances each time around. This year, Xavier needs to win the Big East Tournament and earn the league's automatic bid in order to make the NCAA tournament. These teams will be a week removed from their previous matchup with one another in a game that saw Butler defeat Xavier 72-66. Butler will enter this game with three days of extra rest and seemingly with more momentum and that should be enough to help the Bulldogs earn the win.

Prediction: Butler 76 - Xavier 69

7) Providence vs. 10) Georgetown

The January matchup between these two at Providence was one of the most anticipated games of Big East play - not for the on-court excitement but due to the well documented circumstances surrounding Ed Cooley. However, Cooley and the Hoyas were swept by Providence in the regular season and failed to win a conference game against opponents not name DePaul. I expect much of the same in this one.

Prediction: Providence 75 - Georgetown 63

6) Villanova vs. 11) DePaul

DePaul is coming off a winless Big East campaign and were non-competitive in every game except for the two Georgetown games. Villanova is looking to play their way into the NCAA tournament and should cruise to victory in this one.

Prediction: Villanova 89 - DePaul 63