Tag:Big East Tournament
Posted on: March 13, 2009 9:36 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2009 12:10 am

#7 West Virginia Mountaineers (BET)

#7 West Virginia Mountaineers 23-10 (10-8 BE)


West Virginia Starting Lineup:

G Darryl Bryant Fr.

G Alex Ruoff Sr.

F Da'Sean Butler Jr.

F Devin Ebanks Fr.

F Wellington Smith Jr.


Key Bench Players:

F Kevin Jones Fr.

F John Flowers Soph.

F Cam Thoroughman Soph.


Previous Game:  The 7 seeded West Virginia Mountaineers upset the 2 seed and 3rd ranked Pitt Panthers in the quarterfinals last night by a score of 74-60.  It was the first time WVU beat Pitt this season as they where previously 0-2.  Freshman Devin Ebanks was the hero of the game as he had 20 points 7 rebounds and played all 40 minutes.  Big East Co-Player of the year Dajaun Blair fouled out in just 18 minutes.


Game Preview:  After arguably the greatest game of all-time last night/this morning Syracuse has to get right back on the horse in the Big East Tournament Semi Finals.  Six overtimes must take a lot out of you as Jonny Flynn eluded to this morning saying, "I can't feel my legs", and because of that WVU has an excellent chance to take advantage of Syracuse.  West Virginia is going to try and run Syracuse into the ground, expect a lot of early substitutions for both teams as Cuse trys to get the freshest possible legs in the game and as WVU trys to just run, run run.  Keys to this game are the play of Arinze Onuaku, Kristof Ongenaut and Rick Jackson, the three bigs all played less than 40 minutes with Jackson and Ongenaut getting less than 30.  Those three need to be active tonight in the 2-3.  Kris Joseph will possibly make another appearance just because of fatigue.  You may see him late in the first half to get someone an early breather until halftime, he played 14 minutes last night (out of a possible 70) and played pretty well.  For WVU Devin Ebanks has been the man during this BET.  He has really come in and given West Virginia a legitimate third weapon outside of Ruoff and Butler.  Syracuse needs to keep him down and not let him get going because that will be trouble.  The big stat in this game will be rebounding, Syracuse may have won the 6OT thriller last night but they still got outrebounded by 13 (56-69).  A good rebounding team in WVU combined with a 2-3 zone defense that is very had too rebound out of along with a very fatigued team will be huge down the stretch.


My Prediction:  You can't give Syracuse enough credit for what they did in their quarterfinal game, that was simply amazing, but when you play like that, at such a high level for such a long time it takes a lot from you.  Cuse will fight, but WVU prevails 75-70.


Final Score: 74-69 Syracuse OT




Posted on: March 12, 2009 5:35 pm
Edited on: March 13, 2009 2:59 pm

#3 Connecticut Huskies Game Preview (BET)

#3 Connecticut Huskies 27-3 (15-3 BE)


Connecticut Starting Lineup:

G A.J. Price Sr.

G Craig Austrie Sr.

F Stanley Robinson Jr.

F Jeff Adrien Sr.

C Hasheem Thabeet Jr.


Key Bench Players:

G Kemba Walker Fr.

F Gavin Edwards Jr.


Previous Game:  The #1 ranked Huskies lost at The Petersen Events Center to then #3 Pittsburgh 70-60.  Sam Young carried Pitt with 31 points and 10 rebounds.  A.J. Price led UConn with 19 points.  Hasheem Thabeet chipped in 14 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocks, although he was held scoreless in the second half.


Game Preview:   The 3 seed in the Big East Tournament is the 4th ranked team in the country, that is how strong the Big East has been this season.  Connecticut has been in the top 5 all season long, but the Huskies come into their opening Big East Tournament game with Syracuse as vulnerable as ever.  The last time Syracuse and UConn played, UConn thumped the Cuse 63-49 in a game in which Syracuse had their lowest point total of the season and shot just 31% from the field.  Hasheem Thabeet absolutely manhandled Syracuse as he had 8 points, 16 rebounds and 7 blocks, not to mention somehow leaving the game with just 1 foul.  Syracuses' bigs where not 100% but they (Arinze Onuaku and Rick Jackson) had a combined 6 points, 10 rebounds and 1 block, along with 7 fouls.  However this time around UConn is without former leading scorer Jerome Dyson.  In that game against Syracuse Dyson went down with a torn MCL and he is now done for the season.  Dyson was UConn's top offensive threat as he could drive, dish and shoot with consistency.  Since he has went down UConn hasn't been the same, they are 4-2 (both losses to Pittsburgh) and their average margin of victory is just 9.75 points.  Syracuse on the other hand has been on fire as of late winning 5 straight with an average margin of victory of 21 points.  In this game expect a lot closer matchup as Syracuse is finally healthy and UConn is a bit down.  The officiating should be top notch as well as it should always be in postseason play, another incident like the one between Syracuse and Seton Hall last night will not be tolerated.  Therefore, Thabeet won't be able to get away with some of his "blocks" he usually would get away with, though he will still be a major force in the middle.  For Syracuse to have a good chance of beating Uconn they need to keep up what they have been doing during this winning streak.  Having an active 2-3 zone (teams shooting 36.2%), taking care of the ball and getting better shots (shooting 56.6%)  and being an unselfish team (averaging 23.6 apg on 33.6 fgm per game).  If Syracuse does that, and stays out of foul trouble, there is no doubt Syracuse is moving on to the semifinals.


My Prediction:   It is awfully hard to pick against this Syracuse team, they arguably the hottest team in the Big East, if not the country right now, and beating an old rival like UConn would just fuel their fire.  Syracuse will extend its 5 game winning streak to 6 and 3 game winning streak over UConn in the BET to 4 with a win.  Expect a big time performance from Flynn and Devendrf along with another great performance from Ongenaut.  Thabeet will get into early foul trouble and UConn will never be able to recover. Syracuse wins 78-70.


Final Score: 127-117 Syracuse 6OT



Posted on: March 11, 2009 3:50 pm
Edited on: March 12, 2009 3:22 pm

#11 Seton Hall Pirates Game Preview (BET)

#11 Seton Hall Pirates 17-14 (7-11 BE)


Seton Hall Starting Lineup:

G Paul Gause Sr.

G Eugene Harvey Jr.

G Jeremy Hazell Soph.

F Robert Mitchell Jr.

F/C John Garcia Jr.


Key Bench Players :

G Jordan Theodore Fr.

F Robert Mitchell Jr.

F Brandon Walters Soph.


Previous Game:  In the first round of the Big East Tournament the #11 seed Seton Hall Pirates defeated the #14 seed South Florida Bulls 68-54.  The win snapped Seton Hall's 5 game losing streak in the BET.  Jeremy Hazell led the Pirates with 23 points, he scored 12 of those 23 in a 21-9 run to start the 2nd half and put the Pirates up by 14, they never looked back.


Game Preview:   The postseason is here and that means March Madness.  Expect the unexpected.  The last time Seton Hall and Syracuse matched up it was the 1st game of the Big East regular season and Syracuse romped Seton Hall by 24.  Seton Hall was without starting Center John Garcia and it's coach Bobby Gonzalez who was serving a 1 Big East game suspension due to an occurence that happened the previous season.  Now they are both back.  On the other hand we have #6 seeded Syracuse, a team that is on a 4 game winning streak, playing their best basketball of the season and actually defending the basketball.  That is a huge part of Syracuses' success as defense is the key to winning games in the postseason.  Syracuse needs to to hold Jeremy Hazell at bay, he had 23 points in the last game, he is going to score at least 15 somehow, Cuse just cannot let him go off.  Another player to watch out for is Robert Mitchell, he had the best game of his life against Syracuse back in December, putting up 22 points along with 10 boards.  Onuaku and Jackson shouldn't have a problem with him but he has a history of dominating Syracuse.  The key stat to this game is 3 point FG%.  Seton Hall will hoist up 3's over the Cuse 2-3 zone, in the last game against Syracuse they went 2-27 (7.4%) from 3, while Syracuse shot 12-22 (54.5%) and went 9-14 in the first half.  Syracuse has a history of performing excellently in MSG and in the BET (not including last season), so this should just be another game for them, but for Seton Hall they are fighting to win it all and get in the Big Dance, they will come out looking to upset some people.


My Prediction:  Syracuse hasn't been this hot this late since the 2003-04 season, when they went to the Sweet 16.  Syracuse has a shot to not only go to the Sweet 16 or further but they also have a legit shot at winning the BET, and it starts with a win over Seton Hall.  82-68 Syracuse.


Final Score: 89-74 Syracuse





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