Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Villanova to open Big East tournament against St. John's

Villanova has captured the seventh seed in the Big East tournament and will open play Wednesday night against St. John's at Madison Square Garden.

Villanova to open Big East tournament against St. John's

Villanova head coach Jay Wright, right, talks with a player in the<br />first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Pittsburgh,<br />Sunday, March 3, 2013, in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh won 73-64 in<br />overtime. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Villanova head coach Jay Wright, right, talks with a player in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Pittsburgh, Sunday, March 3, 2013, in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh won 73-64 in overtime. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

The final day of the last season of the Big East as we know it has concluded, and Villanova has emerged with the seventh seed in the conference tournament and a date against St. John's on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

The Wildcats (19-12, 10-8 Big East), who have a first-round bye, drew St. John's as their opponent after the Red Storm lost to Marquette on Saturday in overtime, and Cincinnati defeated South Florida, also in overtime. The Red Storm (16-14, 8-10) enter the tournament as the 10th seed, along with a four-game losing streak.

Villanova opened its Big East season against St. John's at the Pavilion on Jan. 2 and captured a 98-86 overtime victory.

The Wildcats, who ended their regular season Wednesday night with a 67-57 victory over No. 5 Georgetown at the Wells Fargo Center, enter the Big East post-season on the NCAA bubble and would need a win to solidify a bid.

The Big East tournament opens Tuesday night with two games involving the league's bottom four finishers. Seton Hall takes on South Florida in the first game and Rutgers goes against DePaul in the nightcap.

Wednesday's card finds eighth-seeded Providence and ninth-seeded Cincinnati opening play at noon, followed by No. 5 Syracuse against the winner of Seton Hall-South Florida at 2 p.m. Nova and St. John's will tip off at 7 p.m. and sixth-seeded Notre Dame concludes the day at 9 p.m. against the winner of Rutgers-DePaul.

The top four teams -- Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette and Pittsburgh -- have received byes into the quarterfinals. If the Wildcats get past St. John's, they will meet Louisville, the second seed, on Thursday night.

Pitt picked up the final two-round bye on Saturday with a victory over DePaul.

--Joe Juliano

About this blog
Joe Juliano first visited the Palestra in 1970 after entering Temple University and became hooked for life on Big Five basketball. He'll always go with that name, figuring if the Big Ten can have 12 teams, why can't the Big Five have six?

Juliano joined the Inquirer in 1985 after 10 years at United Press International and has covered college sports for most of that time. His current beats are Villanova basketball, Penn State football, golf and the Penn Relays.

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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