Multiple BIG EAST Teams Were Poised for Postseason
NEW YORK – Before the NCAA Tournament was canceled, several BIG EAST teams appeared primed for NCAA invitations. Most national bracketologists had six or seven league teams headed to the NCAAs. In the final NCAA NET rankings, five BIG EAST teams were in the top 26 and seven were among the top 47, so some high tournament seeds appeared to be on the horizon.
The BIG EAST was the top rated conference in the NET. The BIG EAST teams in the final NCAA NET rankings: Creighton (11), Villanova (13), Seton Hall (15), Butler (19), Marquette (26), Providence (37), Xavier (47), St. John’s (62), Georgetown (65) and DePaul (86).
BIG EAST Has Averaged More Than Five NCAA Bids Per Season
In the previous six seasons of its current 10-school alignment (2014-19), the BIG EAST received a total of 32 NCAA Tournament invitations, averaging 5.3 per season. Villanova won the national championship in 2018 and 2016. In 2017, the BIG EAST had seven NCAA Tournament participants.
Seton Hall’s Powell, Marquette’s Howard Consensus All-Americans
Myles Powell of Seton Hall and Markus Howard of Marquette are Consensus All-Americans, which is a compilation of the all-America teams by Associated Press, USBWA, NABC and Sporting News. It’s the first time the BIG EAST has had two consensus all-America picks since 2009-10 when Villanova’s Scottie Reynolds and Syracuse’s Wes Johnson were named. Powell and Howard made the AP All-America First Team. Creighton’s Marcus Zegarowski and Villanova’s Saddiq Bey was named AP Honorable Mention.
Creighton, Villanova, Seton Hall Shared Regular-Season Title
For the first time since 2012-13, the BIG EAST had a three-way tie for its regular-season crown. Creighton, Villanova and Seton Hall finished at the top with 13-5 league records. On the final day of the regular season, the Bluejays forced the three-way tie when they defeated the Pirates 77-60 while Villanova was slipping past Georgetown 70-69. Creighton would have played the BIG EAST Tournament as the top seed with Villanova second and Seton Hall third. For the Bluejays, it was their first regular-season crown. It was the sixth title over the past seven years for the Wildcats and the first for the Pirates since 1992-93.
Seton Hall’s Powell Named Player of the Year; Creighton’s McDermott Selected Coach of the Year; Villanova’s Robinson-Earl Tabbed Freshman of the Year
Seton Hall guard Myles Powell was named BIG EAST Player of the Year by a vote of the league’s head coaches. The senior led the Pirates to a share of the BIG EAST regular-season crown and ranked second in the league in scoring with a 21.8 average, which was 18th nationally. In the Pirates’ nine BIG EAST road games, Powell was even more productive with a 25.8 scoring mark. McDermott guided Creighton to a share of the regular-season crown with Seton Hall and Villanova. Picked seventh in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the Bluejays finished 24-7 overall and finished seventh in the final AP poll, which is tied for the highest rank in school history. Robinson-Earl was a key contributor toward Villanova’s share of the regular-season title. The forward averaged 10.5 points and ranked fourth in the BIG EAST in rebounds with a 9.4 rank, which ranked fourth in the league. He shot 81.4 percent from the foul line.
Villanova Has Top Seven-Year League Record
In the seven seasons of the BIG EAST’s 10-team alignment, Villanova has compiled the best record in conference play with a 103-23 mark. Xavier is second overall at 74-52. The Wildcats have won or shared six of the seven regular-season titles. Xavier won in 2017-18.
Conference Records (2013-20)
Villanova 103-23 .817
Xavier 74-52 .587
Providence 70-56 .556
Creighton 69-57 .548
Seton Hall 66-60 .524
Butler 64-62 .508
Marquette 60-66 . .476
Georgetown 51-75 .405
St. John’s 45-81 .357
DePaul 28-98 .222
UConn Rejoins BIG EAST For 2020-21
As was originally reported by Digital Sports Desk in a story that suprised college athletics last June, the University of Connecticut will rejoin the conference as a full member. The Huskies will begin competing in 2020-21. One of seven original members of the conference, Connecticut competed as a BIG EAST school for the first 34 years of the Conference’s existence, beginning in 1979-80 and continuing through the 2012-13. The addition of UConn will increase the number of full members in the BIG EAST to 11 institutions.
As one of the Conference’s founding members, UConn enjoyed significant success in BIG EAST competition, including 80 conference championship titles across all sports. The Huskies were especially successful in men’s and women’s basketball during their previous run in the BIG EAST. The men’s basketball program won 10 regular-season titles and seven BIG EAST Tournament championships, in addition to national titles in 1999, 2004 and 2011.
The UConn women’s basketball program has won or shared 19 BIG EAST regular-season titles and captured 18 BIG EAST Tournament crowns, including 16 titles over a 19-year span (1994-2012). The women’s program also earned eight of their 11 national championships as a BIG EAST school. The Huskies will participate in 20 of the BIG EAST’s 22 sports.