The start of both men’s and women’s Big East tournaments are about to get under way. Since I have seen most of these teams first hand, it made sense to set out a little prediction for the finals.
I will start off with the ladies bracket. The two number one seeds get a bye (Notre Dame and West Virginia) while each two/three matchup is very nice.
Notre Dame will get the winner of the Seton Hall or Cincinnati/St. John’s. Big drop off in teams for the Irish to play in the second round. Looking at it I would probably have to take the Red Storm to advance to play Notre Dame. Either way, Notre Dame should have no trouble in this bracket. Once they move on they will get the winner of the Villanova/Marquette. I think the Golden Eagles at home are a little too much for the Wildcats (who I still feel are one of the more overrated teams). But I will sneak Nova in with the upset.
So, the first semifinal will have Notre Dame and Villanova.
The second part of the bracket shows West Virginia getting the winner of the Pittsburgh/Louisville game. I like the Cardinals in this match but don’t sleep on the Panthers. This one could go either way but it shouldn’t spell trouble for West Virginia with either team. WVU should move on and play the winner of the UConn/Rutgers. UConn in an unfamiliar role, going on the road for the conference tournament. I still think they can beat the Scarlet Knights on the road and advance to play WVU.
The second semifinal will pit WVU and UConn.
I like Notre Dame and WVU to win their semi’s and Notre Dame to win the Big East. The Irish are just too strong and will look to push for a National Title. Don’t get me wrong, WVU is good and I still stand firm on my final four projection for this squad but they have to show that they can beat a strong oppenet like UConn before they can even think to beat a Notre Dame.
In the Men’s Bracket…things are a little differnet. First round matchups are interesting all across the board.
First up is the USF/Seton Hall matchup. The winner will play WVU…in this one I have to take the home team in USF. The Bulls haven’t been the team that I expected them to be from the begining of the season but should be able to muster up a win at home against a Seton Hall team that has been up and down all season. I do expect WVU to beat either one of those teams fine, and thus sending the Mountaineers to the semifinals.
Next is the most lopsided of the first round games, Notre Dame and DePaul. The Blue Demons aren’t much of anything and Notre Dame should have no trouble getting by and will go on to face Rutgers. I like Rutgers since they should use their homefield advantage to perfection. Not to mention they will have the homefield throughout the Big East tournament. However, I believe Notre Dame will get by on the road…yes…I know…its a tough pick but I wouldn’t mind seeing another Irish/Mountaineer clash again this season.
After that is the Louisville/Providence match, the winner will play Cincinnati. I like the Friers in this one, though I believe Cincinnati will prevail and move on to the semifinals to face….
UConn. The Huskies should have no problem with the winner of the St. John’s/Pittsburgh match. I will go ahead and say St. John’s will win and play UConn, pitting two solid storied clubs against one another.
So, in the semifinals, I like WVU over Notre Dame and I like Cincinnati over UConn. I am sticking with my pick from almost two months ago saying that the Big East final will be WVU and Cincinnati, and now I will preject WVU winning it all. Homer pick, sure, but I think this team can do it.