Wednesday, March 11, 2009

2009 Big East Championship Preview, Round 2

It's only the first year of the new system and we already see two low seeds advancing to the second round...including a team picking up their FIRST Big East win on the year. Congrats to Jerry Wainright and DePaul for picking off a bubble team and winning their first game in 18 tries. Also moving on is St John's. Basketball is just a better sport when New York schools are faring well. The Storm’s not exactly postseason bound, but it's just nice to see the boys hanging around in MSG. Four games today...let's hit the picks.

Yesterday: 3-1

Overall: 3-1

(16)DePaul vs. (8)Providence: Well…can they do it again? Can the Demons burst one more bubble? The Fryers need this game, and likely a good showing in the quarterfinals, to go dancing. This should be a walkover, but nothing is certain…especially after DePaul’s shocker yesterday. The Fryers need to get out and run. They are not disciplined enough for a half-court game. This means they have to hit shots, and create turnovers. The Demons have to be brimming with confidence, and will keep this one close…but fatigue will be the difference in the end.

Prediction: 74-67 Providence

(13)St. Johns vs. (5)Marquette: The Red Storm mercifully ended Georgetown’s whacked season…and we all thank them for that. Now, how will they fare against a depleted Marquette squad? No Dominic James has meant four straight losses for the Golden Eagles. This will also feel like a road game for a team that has struggled away from Milwaukee all year. Expect this game to be closer than one would think. Too much athleticism for St. Johns to handle as Marquette will be able to use their guard play to pull away in the second half.

Prediction: 78-70 Marquette

(10)Notre Dame vs. (7)West Virginia: The Irish have a tremendous opportunity to continue a push to the NCAA Tournament. WVU doesn’t match-pup well against the Luke Harangody and Notre Dame. The Mountaineers did beat ND earlier this season, but the home court advantage may have played the difference. The Irish are hungry, have more experience, and have more scorers than their opponent. The Domers take a close one.

Prediction: 80-74 Notre Dame

(11)Seton Hall vs. (6)Syracuse: Anyone else thinking blowout? The Hall have had a nice season…17 wins, including seven in the Big East, a nice trip to the NIT waiting…but this one won’t be close. Syracuse owns them at every position. Way more athletic on the perimeter, and way stronger down low. This is the biggest blowout of the day.

Prediction: 89-61 Syracuse



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