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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1) Connecticut vs. 5) St. John's

The Huskies beat St. John's 77-64 in this same building a little over a month ago. But St. John's has seemingly improved since that loss and will enter this game on a 6-game winning streak. Daniss Jenkins has been playing some solid basketball as of late and big man Joel Soriano can have a big game on any given night. I expect St John's to give the Huskies everything they can handle, however, it still will not be enough to overcome the Huskies, who move on to the Championship game after a hard-fought victory.

Prediction: UConn 79 - St. John's 74

2) Creighton vs. 6) Villanova

When these two teams face off in the semifinals, they will be less than a week removed from their previous head to head matchup. That game saw Villanova, who trailed by as many as 24, erase a double digit deficit over the final six minutes of the game and tie the game up with just 20 seconds left. However, it was all for nothing, as Trey Alexander hit a fadeaway jumper with less than a second left to give Creighton a huge win. However, Villanova earned a huge win over Creighton in Omaha back in December to split the series. There will be a lot on the line for both sides, and I expect this game to be just as exciting as the two regular season matchups between these two were. However, Creighton's hot streak will ultimately continue, as they move on to the Championship game.

Prediction: Creighton 78 - Villanova 76


1) Connecticut vs. 2) Creighton

Despite a chaotic tournament, the top two seeds ultimately face off in what will be a highly anticipated matchup. Creighton already has a win over UConn under their belt and they'll have the opportunity to back that win up with another one at the Mecca of Basketball. On the flip side, UConn looks to add a Big East Championship to their resume.

There is plenty of star power on both sides, with Creighton's "big three" of Ryan Kalkbrenner, Trey Alexander, and Baylor Scheierman all playing some of their best basketball of the year. On the flip side, UConn's well-balanced starting five continues to impress night after night. Creighton has made the Finals of the Big East Tournament three times, including two of the last three tournaments, but lost all three and are still searching for their first Big East Tournament Championship. UConn, on the other hand, has won seven Big East Tournaments, but haven't won one since 2011, a year in which they ultimately won the National Championship as well.

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I expect this game to live up to the hype and it will be a back-and-forth battle from the opening tip. However, UConn will ultimately show why they are still the team to beat this year with a hard-fought Championship victory over the Blue Jays.

Prediction: UConn 70 - Creighton 65