By Josh Adams
New York- The slogan for the New York Lottery is, “All it takes is a dollar and a dream”. Well, figuratively, every Big East team has their dollar in for championship glory in this year’s Big East Tournament. There is no clear cut team on a hill this year. The #1 and #2 seeds, Villanova and Marquette stumbled towards the end of the regular season while teams like Xavier and Seton Hall surged to end the regular season. The NCAA Tournament bubble is so prevalent that every game sans Providence-Butler will have Tournament implications. The Wednesday night games that usually have no NCAA Tournament relevance have a St. John’s team playing DePaul, a team that swept them during the regular season. A loss to DePaul could have the Red Storm returning to the Garden in a few weeks as a semifinalist in the NIT. It’s set to be a wild four days with massive upset potential. Here’s how I see it play out:
Providence over Butler
Ed Cooley loves Madison Square Garden. He’s won a Big East Championship here and beat St. John’s here this season. A short train ride away with plenty of alumni living in the NYC area, the Friars fans and students usually show up in droves for the Tournament. This and sweeping Butler during the regular season are my reasons here. That said, I’ll miss you Butler Blue. You’re my boy.
St. John’s over DePaul
To borrow a De La Soul album title, “Stakes is High”, for the Red Storm that just a short few weeks ago were anointed into the NCAA Tournament after a win over Villanova. Looming is DePaul’s Max Strus who balled out for 43 points in their win over St. John’s in last month’s game. It would be a disaster for the Red Storm to lose this game and I can’t see Shamorie Ponds and LJ Figueroa letting it happen. It will be too close for comfort though.
PHOTO: LJ Figueroa/redstormsports.com