Happy Monday Nova Nation! THE CHAMPS ARE HERE! They may have fallen back-side first into this one, but your Villanova Wildcats are the outright Big-East Champions for the fifth time in six years. That ties UConn (1994-99) for the best six year stretch of Championships in Big East history, and the Huskies were only outright champs in three of those seasons. In fact, outside of the Kansas Jayhawks, no other major conference team has accomplished five outright titles in six years since UCLA’s run in the 60’s and 70’s.
But as Jay Wright always says, the time for appreciating those accolades is after the season. For now it’s time to focus on the Big East Tournament. Usually, this is the week when Villanova has it’s Spring Break, which got me thinking back to my days on campus. Every year my friends and I would go on a trip, and the night before we’d get together for some drinks and to place some friendly wagers. These weren’t actually wagers mind you, more odds making for things we thought “could” happen on our trip. I thought I’d dust off that old tradition and give it a go for this week. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you VUHoops’ Big East Tournament Odds:
1 Million to 1: Jahvon Quinerly wins the BET’s Most Valuable Player
If I’m going to pay out $1M on a one dollar bet, it better be for something I’m 99.99% certain will not happen. And folks, I’d say that’s an accurate description for Quinerly’s chances to win this award. Between the recent reports of a back injury and him sliding out of the rotation in recent games, I just don’t think any scenario where this happening is remotely likely. Cue the Dumb and Dumber “So you’re saying there’s a chance!” meme.
100,000 to 1: DePaul goes dancing
Fact: DePaul got to seven conference wins for the first time since 2007. Fact: Anyone can beat anyone at this point in the Big East. Lock it in: DePaul isn’t winning the BET. Yes, they’ve had some life to them and that’s not just because the Big East decided to eat itself from within this year. But this isn’t 2011 UConn or 2006 Syracuse, and Max Strus isn’t Kemba or McNamara. I’ll happily eat my words if DePaul wins four straight, because that would be the most fitting ending to this Big East season.
10,000 to 1: Jermaine Samuels has a 20+ point game in the BET
While we’ve only had two games since Jermaine Samuels breakout performance against Marquette, it’s pretty easy to say he’s been more aggressive on offense. Of course, that’s not hard to say when prior to that game he put up three straight goose eggs in the points column. He also hasn’t gotten anywhere close to the 19 attempts he had against Marquette, averaging just seven shots a game since. I don’t think it’s likely we’re going to see another game where everyone else struggles and Samuels takes over, but I do think we’ll continue to see him be more aggressive on offense. Not only does this help him get to the line more often (where his shooting percentage is trending up), it also keeps the defense honest on the perimeter which opens up the lane for guys to drive. Either way, we’ve definitely seen a step forward from Samuels and I’d expect that to continue.
1,000 to 1: Marquette loses their 5th straight game
Villanova fans can sympathies a little bit with what Marquette is going through. Back on Feb. 21st, 2011, the #15 Villanova Wildcats went up against the #17 Syracuse Orange. Villanova would lose that game as well as the three remaining regular season games on their schedule to drop out of the rankings. But that would be fine because surely they’d find their footing against a South Florida team that was in 15th place and had gone 3-15 in conference play, right? Nope, and Nova then lost their first game in the NCAA Tournament on top of it. This Marquette team is much better than that, but one thing should be noted. Their likely matchup on Thursday night will be the home-court team St. John’s who swept them in the regular season. Just saying...
100 to 1: Saddiq Bey gets at least one double-double this week
At first glance I’m jumping all over this bet because the odds makers clearly have underestimated one of Nova’s up and coming stars, who by the way was just named to the All-Big East Rookie Team. But would it surprise you to learn that Bey only has one double-double on the season, or that he’s only had 10+ rebounds twice in 31 games? It shocked the hell out of me! That said, this isn’t out of reach for Bey as Wright has recently trimmed the rotation down to just seven guys. Bey will have plenty of minutes and opportunities to get both buckets and boards as Nova advances through the BET.
10 to 1: Villanova wins its 3rd straight Big East Tournament Championship
No, these odds don’t reflect the fact that there are 10 Big East teams and anyone can win, I already said DePaul isn’t going to get there. I actually think the Wildcats got a great draw to the Championship game. It won’t be a cakewalk, they avoided some of their worst matchups. There are two things working against Nova here. First, no one in the history of the Big East has won three straight tournaments in MSG. It’s just really, really, really hard to do even if you’re the #1 seed. The second, is that whoever they would potentially face from the other side of the bracket will have at least two high quality wins under their belt in order to get there. Marquette, Seton Hall, Georgetown, and St. John’s all have a shot to make the finals, and they’ll surely be battle tested when they get there.
Nein to 1: This is the last BET for one of these coaches
Every year we go through the coaching carousel, and every year it seems the Big East loses one of its leaders. I don’t think this year will be any different, but at the same time it will. The only candidate to jump for a better job is probably Wojo, but I don’t see that happening. Most of his team, including Markus Howard, will be returning and he’s likely biding his time until he’s a candidate for the Duke job when it opens up. No, I think we’re going to see either Chris Mullin or Dave Leitao get canned after this season. It’s only fitting that the two of them are facing off on the tournament’s opening night.
π to 1: Eric Paschall averages 25+ points in the BET
I’m not saying Villanova’s a lock to win every game they play, but I think we’re about to see the best basketball of Eric Paschall’s career. The New York native has been in a bit of a rut lately, and hasn’t scored over 20 points since Nova beat Providence in mid-February. But Paschall is going to be playing in Madison Square Garden for the last time in his collegiate career, and I think we’re all about to be treated to something special this week.
1 to 1: Phil Booth ties Villanova’s games played record
In order for this to happen, the Wildcats would have to make it to the BET finals. And obviously Booth would also have to play in all three of those games. But given the career that he’s had, I can’t imagine he’d go down without a fight. Besides, he once scored 20 points in a National Championship game!
Dark Horse: Somebody splits their pants this week
Last season gave us one of the greatest moments in Big East Tournament history when Providence head coach Ed Cooley split his pants and had to patrol the sidelines of the Championship game with a towel around his waist. Earlier this year, Butler’s coach LaVall Jordan also ripped his pants during a game against Creighton. This is an exciting tournament, and I’d encourage all coaches, players, refs, and fans to bring a backup or at least have a towel at the ready.
Given: The Top 4 Seeds will not all make the Semi-Finals
There’s no way I’d even considering opening this one up for betting, because I think it’s the biggest lock of the tournament. The way this season has gone, especially in the past month, I don’t think it’s possible that #1 Villanova, #2 Marquette, #3 Seton Hall and #4 Xavier all win their first games. Someone is going to get knocked off when teams like Georgetown, Creighton, and home-court having St. John’s are all still looking for a way to lock up an NCAA Tournament bid. Someone’s weekend is going to get ruined, and I’m really hoping it’s not Villanova.
So I leave it to you Nova Nation. Where are you placing your bet as we head into the Big East Tournament?
Which of these would you put your money on?
This poll is closed
1M to 1: Jahvon Quinerly wins the BET MVP
100K to 1: DePaul goes dancing
10K to 1: Samuels has a 20+ point game
1K to 1: Marquette loses 5th straight
100 to 1: Bey gets a double-double
10 to 1: Nova wins the BET
9 to 1: Last BET for a coach
Pi to 1: Paschall averages 25+ in BET
1 to 1: Booth ties Nova games record
In other “news” Mikal Bridges looks back on the championship runs, Nova’s class of 2019 is making championship runs, and Donte DiVincenzo is going on coffee runs. Enjoy!
Villanova loses to Seton Hall
Villanova loses to Seton Hall, 79-75, but wins outright Big East regular-season title | The Inquirer
Despite never leading during Saturday's loss to the Pirages, Villanova is the No. 1 seed for the Big East tournament and will play its first game at noon Thursday at Madison Square Garden.
Seton Hall basketball punches NCAA Tournament ticket with upset of Villanova | APP
5 takeaways from an all-time classic March Madness moment at the Rock.
No. 23 Villanova stunned by Seton Hall in regular-season finale | NBC Sports Philadelphia
No. 23 Villanova was upset Saturday afternoon in its regular-season finale as the Wildcats fell, 79-75, to Seton Hall.
Seton Hall scores second big upset, stuns No. 23 Villanova | New York Daily News
Myles Powell scored 20 points, Myles Cale added 19 and Seton Hall might have punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament by stunning No. 23 Villanova 79-75 Saturday in the regular-season finale.
Seton Hall defeats Villanova in Newark | Big East Coast Bias
The Pirates capped off a big week with a big win.
Big East Basketball: Reactions to 2018-19 all-conference teams | Busting Brackets
All the latest reactions, responses, and thoughts to the Big East Basketball all-conference team honorees in 2018-19.
Villanova’s Phil Booth, Eric Paschall, Saddiq Bey honored by Big East | The Inquirer
The scoring and leadership of Booth and Paschall helped carry the Wildcats to their fifth Big East regular-season championship in the last six years. Bey started the last 15 games for the Cats and was a key contributor.
Winners and losers: North Carolina makes case for No. 1 seed; Villanova backs into Big East title | CBSSports.com
Louisville blows another lead, Temple takes a step toward the Big Dance.
'Twas the Night Before the 2018 Championship | YUR View
Phoenix Suns Forward, Mikal Bridges talks about his favorite March moment, the 2018 NCAA chamionship game when he played for Villanova.
A history of Catholic School Sports, From Babe Ruth to LeBron James | America Magazine
There is no way to explain the success of Catholic school athletes without taking into account a wide range of factors—historical, sociological and, yes, spiritual.
Big East Tournament
Big East Tournament 2019: Conference's Top Threats to Outlast Villanova | Bleacher Report
The Big East Tournament appears to belong to defending NCAA champion Villanova and Marquette. The Wildcats and the Golden Eagles were the top two teams in the regular season, ...
2019 Big East Tournament: Bracket, schedule, scores, seeds | NCAA.com
The 2019 Big East Tournament is at Madison Square Garden. Find bracket, schedule, scores and seeding information.
Big East Tournament 2019: Bracket, TV schedule, seeds, predictions | Yahoo! Sports
The 2019 Big East tournament tips off Wednesday in New York. Here is an in-depth look at the conference tourney, including a complete bracket, TV schedule, analysis and predictions.
2019 Big East Tournament bracket: Schedule, scores, updates, location, dates, times, live stream for March Madness | CBSSports.com
All the information you need to follow along with the 2019 Big East Tournament action
Class of 2019
Boys basketball Non-Public B final, Ranney vs. Roselle Catholic: MVP & stars of the game | NJ.com
A McDonald's All-American headed to Villanova, Antoine delivered another consistent performance for the state champions
NJ Boys Hoops: All-Shore, All-Division, Senior All-Stars selected by Shore Conference coaches | APP
View the full list of honors from the Shore Conference boys basketball coaches right here
PIAA Boys Basketball Highlights: Cumberland Valley, Camp Hill knocked out in first round | cumberlink.com
A hot-shooting effort from range gave Cumberland Valley an early boost, but it didn’t last against Villanova commit Eric Dixon.
Eric Paschall NBA Draft Projections: Mock Drafts for Villanova Forward | Heavy.com
Villanova forward Eric Paschall has taken the baton from the 4 departed Wildcats from last year's national championship. It has set him up for NBA Draft glory.
Josh Hart says ‘nothing has really helped’ his knee injury, but he wants to keep playing for Lakers anyway | Silver Screen and Roll
Josh Hart has shown a lot of, well, heart, by grinding through the pain and continuing to play for the Lakers over the last few weeks.
With late-season surge, Jalen Brunson could merit all-rookie consideration | Mavs.com
Looking back, Jalen Brunson getting drafted 33rd in last year’s NBA draft was almost as stunning as Luka Doncic falling all the way to third overall.
Bucks Donte DiVincenzo picks up tab at Milwaukee coffee shop | WISN
It was part of a collaboration with Verizon Wireless to #Passitforward.
Omari Spellman (ankle) will not return this season | Fantasy Pros
The Hawks are not in the playoff hunt so no reason to force Spellman back into action this late in the season. Huerter is worth a look in most leagues if you’re desperate in the playoffs.
March Madness Saturday takeaways: Michigan State, Auburn get big wins | SI.com
Michigan State gets the last word in the Big Ten, Duke gets a silver lining after another loss to UNC and everything else worth taking into championship week.
Here are 5 things we learned from an eventful college basketball weekend | NCAA.com
We are exactly a week away from Selection Sunday. Here are five things we learned from the weekend that was in college basketball.
The 10 highest-paid NCAA basketball coaches | CNBC
USA Today compiled compensation information for the top-earning NCAA coaches in 2018 including bonuses and buyouts and found that some coaches are making almost $9 million.
Bubbles and Brackets
NCAA Tournament bubble could be unpredictable with more than a week until Selection Sunday | The Inquirer
The question on a lot of minds is how much the NCAA Division I men's basketball committee will consider rankings in the new NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET).
NCAA tournament bubble watch: College basketball winners, losers | USA Today
USA TODAY Sports takes a look at the teams that boosted their NCAA tournament profiles and some who could be in trouble heading into March Madness.
NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch: Indiana basketball rooting guide for March 9-10 | The Crimson Quarry
Root for Archie’s brother, along with Syracuse, Texas, and conference tourney favorites
Bracketology Bubble Watch: Indiana back under consideration, UCF safely in NCAA Tournament after big win | CBSSports.com
Jerry Palm is tracking the teams near the cut line for the NCAA Tournament
Bracketology Bubble Watch: Big Ten teams Ohio State, Indiana can make their cases on Sunday | CBSSports.com
Opportunities are dwindling for teams to play their way off the bubble and into the field of 68
March Madness bubble: Ohio State, Indiana, other bid chances | SI.com
With three automatic bids handed out on Sunday, SI.com's bubble watch takes stock of the teams fighting for the remaining 14 (by our math) at-large March Madness bids, featuring Ohio State, Indiana and Georgetown.
College Basketball Bracketology: UNC jumps to top line after sweeping Duke | SBNation.com
Plus, LSU is now a No. 2 seed, somehow. Down at the other end of the bracket picture, we’re going to need Championship Week to sort out the bubble.
Bracketology: UNC and Kentucky jump to No. 1 seeds, Duke and Tennessee slip to No. 2 line | CBSSports.com
The Vols' loss to the Tigers allows UK to return to the top line of the projected NCAA Tournament bracket