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The Sun’s Arizin: Big East Misconceptions

There’s been a lot of talk about the Big East finally being up for grabs this year, but it’s been a close race for a while.

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Happy Game Day Nova Nation! The Big East regular season schedule is a minefield of both obviously dangerous opponents and deceptive spoilers that can go off at any time. Just ask UConn, who lost at home last night to Creighton. The media have had a narrative this year that the Big East race is FINALLY competitive again after being dominated for so long by Villanova, but that simply isn’t the case.

The last time any team really “ran away” with the Big East regular season title was Villanova in 2017, the year they were the #1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. That season the Wildcats finished conference play with a three game lead on the competition. It was the fourth straight season the Wildcats had one the regular season title by multiple games, and so the narrative began.

However, since then, no team has one the regular season title by more than a single game. In 2018, Xavier was the regular season champion. In 2020, there was a three way tie for conference champion. Even in the uneven schedule of 2021, had Villanova had one more loss then Creighton would have been the Big East champion.

Even if you look at how “Elite” these teams were when it comes to tournament seeding, Villanova has been on par with the rest of the league, not running away with it:

  • 2021: Villanova and Creighton both 5 Seeds
  • 2019: Marquette a 5 Seed to Villanova’s 6 Seed
  • 2018: Villanova and Xavier both 1 Seeds

The fact is that while Villanova has been the class of the Big East for a while, that doesn’t mean the conference hasn’t been competitive. I’m glad that narrative is starting to dissipate, and college basketball fans are starting to realize how hard it is to win in this conference.

Speaking of which, Villanova’s got a tough one tonight on the road against a ranked Marquette team. So for today’s gameday poll, let’s talk scoring. Villanova has the conferences most efficient offense, and the best shooting percentage from inside the arc. Meanwhile, Marquette is the Big East’s best three point shooting team and has the best effective FG%. So in this battle for efficient scoring between two very good defenses, which team has the best overall FG% tonight?

Poll

Which team will finish the game with the best FG%?

This poll is closed

  • 74%
    Villanova Wildcats
    (224 votes)
  • 25%
    Marquette Golden Eagles
    (76 votes)
300 votes total Vote Now

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