The quarterfinals are here, which means the Big East tournament is in full swing, and the top four seeds will get their chance at the league as-we-know-it’s final crown. Georgetown and Cincinnati open today’s festivities at Noon, followed by a 21st century ACC donnybrook between Syracuse and Pittsburgh.
No. 9 seed Cincinnati had a strong showing against Providence yesterday afternoon, defeating the Friars 61-44 behind 17 points from Sean Kilpatrick and 15 points and 10 rebounds from JaQuon Parker.
Next game: Cincinnati will look to upset top seeded Georgetown at Noon.
- Best Case: Cincinnati nearly took down Georgetown at Fifth Third Arena in February, losing a tight one, 62-55. Kilpatrick and Cashmere Wright were a combined 3-of-15 from three point range in that one; if Cincinnati’s guards can knock down some shots from the outside they should not have much of an issue keeping up with Georgetown’s scoring. Consistent guard play is the key for the Bearcats; if Kilpatrick keeps up his solid play and Wright finally returns to the level that he was playing at before he missed time due to injury, Cincinnati can make a run in this tournament.
- Worst Case: The Bearcats get frustrated against Georgetown’s probing Princeton offense and Otto Porter flashes his normal brilliance, and the Hoyas run away with a double-digit victory. Cincinnati’s next conference tournament game is played in front of 4,000 fans at the Izod Center against Tulane.
Syracuse struggled down the stretch of the regular season, but a strong second half propelled them to a 75-63 win over Seton Hall. The Orange dropped their game at The Pete earlier this year, but were without forward James Southerland. Will an Orange-friendly crowd and Southerland’s three-point prowess make the difference for Jim Boeheim’s squad?
Next game: Syracuse faces No. 4 seed Pittsburgh in the 2:00 PM slot.