The Road to the Mecca Starts Today

The world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, will play host to the Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament for the 40th-straight year in 2022.

The path to the tournament starts today in Omaha, somewhere in middle America. Villanova visits Creighton to kick off conference play tonight. Shaka Smart and Marquette go to Xavier and Providence goes to UConn on Saturday.

The Big East has four ranked teams entering conference play (9 Villanova, 16 Seton Hall, 20 UConn, 22 Xavier) and have a shot to put 7-8 teams into the big dance at season’s end.

Here’s how I think the conference will shake out…

11. DePaul

Maybe this will be the year DePaul finally gets out of the basement. Nope. Dead last again. We need to create a relegation system and swap this team out for an up-and-coming team from the Horizon league or some shit.

10. Georgetown

DePaul sucks and it’s funny. Georgetown sucks and it’s sad. They have any more Hall of Fame alums that can take over the coaching reigns?

9. Butler

I think Butler is going to have a down year. They’ll inevitably beat Villanova at Hinkle because that’s what they do. They’ll get up for a game or two and surprise some people, but they’re a bottom half team this year.

8. Providence

Same with Providence. They’ll play hard because they always do. The Dunk will be rocking because it always is. Ed Cooley will get the best out of his team like he does every year. Unfortunately for Ed, I think their best isn’t very good.

7. Creighton

Daddy McDermott got himself in a little cancel culture hot water last year but he kept his job and he’s back for his 12th season at Creighton. No more Marcus Zegarowski for the Jays this year and that’s pretty much all they had last year.

6. Marquette

Oh, Marquette. What did you do? Shaka Smart huh? Good luck with that, I guess. Big win over Illinois early in the year, but has lost three-straight ranked games by double digits. It’s well documented that I don’t like Marquette, Milwaukee or the state of Wisconsin in general. I fux with the Brewers though. That’s my squad.

5. St. John’s

Nobody knows what St. John’s is going to be this year. I know they’re going to run, jump and be undisciplined. That’s a given. If they can figure out that last part under third-year head coach Mike Anderson, they might be alright. They’re not Villanova, but their not DePaul anymore either. It’s progress.

4. Xavier

XAV-IER. Xavier is back in the Top 25 for the first time since the fifth week last year. Paul Scruggs is back in Cincinnati for his 12th or 13th year on the team and he has some help this year. They beat Ohio State early in the Gavitt Games, but struggled with Niagara. I think they’ll be in the mix come March. 7-10 seed in March Madness, early exit.

3. Seton Hall

I don’t know why good players keep going to New Jersey, a scum state, to play for Kevin Willard, a scum coach. But every now and then, Seton Hall puts together a decent team to compete in the Big East and into March in the national tournament. They haven’t made the tournament in the last three years and they’ve only won one tournament game in Willard’s tenure. That’s pretty bad. By the way, anybody know what Myles Powell is up to these days?

2. UConn

UConn is fucking good. Sanogo is a stud. Hurley is a hell of a coach but also slightly crazy. Damn, it’s good to have UConn back in the Big East, where they belong. I’ve gotta make a trip to Storrs to watch Dogs vs Cats in the near future.

1. Villanova

Bitch, you guessed it. It was always Villanova. The Big East championship has gone through the Main Line since conference realignment. That won’t change as long as Jay Wright is on the sidelines. Gillespie, Jermaine, Justin Moore and Slater are the core four. The loss of JRE has shown to be big early on against the top teams. I am worried that Jay isn’t wearing his suits anymore. A good suit from Jay in the Pavilion was worth 6 points against anybody from the conference.

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