Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Around the Big East

Connecticut

The No. 2 Connecticut Huskies exacted a little bit of revenge Sunday, taking down the No. 2 Villanova Wildcats 89-75 at home to move into first-place in the Big East standings. The win came 13 days after the Huskies had lost to Villanova on Feb. 13 in Philadelphia.

Connecticut’s victory over Villanova was a true team effort. Senior forward Denham Brown led all scorers with 23 points, junior point guard Marcus Williams tallied 12 assists and freshman forward Jeff Adrien added eight points and nine rebounds.

With the victory, the Huskies secured a first-round bye for the Big East conference tournament, and likely guaranteed themselves a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament in March.

Villanova

If anyone thinks the Big East isn’t the best conference in college basketball, don’t tell the players at Villanova. The No. 4 Wildcats just finished an incredibly challenging stretch of conference games. Jay Wright’s squad upset the then-No. 1 Connecticut at home, and then followed that with a convincing win over then-No. 17 Georgetown. They next squeaked by a tenacious Cincinnati team with 3.2 seconds left, and then lost a hard fought battle to current No. 4 UConn in Storrs.

While the road now gets easier for ‘Nova, their last conference games are far from guaranteed wins. They’ll be taking on St. John’s, a team fighting for its Big East tournament life, and then the Wildcats close their conference slate on the road against a Syracuse squad still very much on the NCAA tournament bubble. However, those are games that Villanova can win. The only real question mark left is whether they will be rewarded with a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance.

West Virginia

The honeymoon is over for the Mountaineers as losses to Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Seton Hall and Connecticut have sent their Big East record crashing down to earth, and skidded their ranking down to No. 16. West Virginia clinched a bye in the Big East Tournament by beating Pittsburgh yesterday, but their NCAA tournament bid was long ago locked up. The Mountaineers have been uncharacteristically cold from beyond the arc in their losses, and were forced to score the majority of their points in the paint in their win against Louisville. While the team continues to be lead by Big East player of the year candidates Mike Gansey and Kevin Pittsnogle, the Final Four whisperings have all but vanished, and the Mountaineers are now looking at a 4 or 5 seed. If they continue their cold streak from long-range, don’t be surprised if they vanish from the tournament just as quickly

Pittsburgh

The ninth-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers showed why they are so highly regarded when they took on Providence Saturday. Pitt received solid contributions from several players, including back-up guard Antonio Graves (18 points), center Aaron Gray (17 points, 9 rebounds) and star Carl Krauser (14 points, 5 assists). Leading by as many as 16 points in the first half, Pitt cruised to a relatively easy Big East victory. On Monday, the Panthers take on the West Virginia Mountaineers in a game with serious implications for the Big East Tournament. Pittsburgh is currently ranked fourth in the Big East with a 10-5 record, 21-5 overall. West Virginia, meanwhile, is ranked third in the conference with an 11-4 mark.

Marquette

Selected to finish 12th in the Big East in the pre-season poll, the Marquette Golden Eagles have thoroughly demolished this misconception. In fact, Marquette is currently ranked sixth in the conference, and boasts wins over then-No. 2 Connecticut, then-No. 17 Georgetown and then-No. 9 Pittsburgh.

On Saturday, Marquette defeated Notre Dame 80-72 in South Bend, improving to 9-5 in Big East play (19-8 overall).

Marquette is fourth in the Big East in scoring offense, averaging 75.3 points per game.

Last week, senior forward Steve Novak was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll for a third time, averaging 23.0 ppg while leading Marquette to a 2-0 record,

Novak’s unheard-of free-throw percentage, 98.6 percent (72-73), leads the nation, and he dominates the Big East conference rankings in three-pointers made (60).

Marquette next travels to Kentucky to take on Louisville and then plays host to Providence at home in the last game before the Big East tournament.

Syracuse

The Syracuse Orange came to D.C. on a mission – beat Georgetown and ensure a trip to the NCAA Tournament. `Cuse had previously won 5 straight games against the Hoyas, but this season has been a breakthrough one for the men on the Hilltop. The Hoyas attacked the Orange’s 2-3 zone from the start, drawing important fouls on the Syracuse frontcourt. While the game was tight throughout the first half, the Hoyas pulled away in the second period and left Syracuse in the dust. Jeff Green led the Hoyas with 18 points and Roy Hibbert dominated the boards, finishing with eight. The loss dealt a brutal blow to Syracuse, and the Georgetown crowd was well aware – in the second half, the crowd broke out in a chant of “N-I-T.” The Orange are now 7-7 in the Big East, good enough for seventh place in the conference, and 19-9 overall.

– Compiled by Rachel Abrahams, Arun Koottappillil, Philip eachin, and Keith Porcaro, Steve Rafferty and J.P. Uehlinger

Donate to The Hoya

Your donation will support the student journalists of Georgetown University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hoya