Everything that's worth knowing about the Big East Tournament.
|SEED||TEAM||LEAGUE RECORD||LEAGUE WINS||LEAGUE LOSSES|
|1.||Denver||6-0||Marquette, Rutgers, Villanova, Georgetown, Providence||None|
|2.||Marquette||4-2||Rutgers, St. John's, Providence, Georgetown||Villanova, Denver|
|3.||Villanova||3-3||Marquette, Georgetown, Rutgers||Denver, St. John's, Providence|
|4.||Rutgers||3-3||Providence, St. John's, Georgetown||Denver, Marquette, Villanova|
Times, Dates of Matchups
Thursday, May 1, 2014 (Semifinals -- at Villanova (Villanova Stadium)):
- (4) Rutgers v. (1) Denver: 4:30 PM (ET)
- (3) Villanova v. (2) Marquette: 7:00 PM (ET)
Saturday, May 3, 2014 (Championship -- at Villanova (Villanova Stadium)):
- Semifinal I Winner v. Semifinal II Winner: 4:30 PM (ET)
The Big East is unloading what I have been told is "broadcast-level quality" streams for its semifinal rounds. The streams can be found on BigEast.com and will feature a four-camera HD broadcast with a full graphics package (hopefully featuring various iterations of Bill Tierney scowls). Pat O'Keefe and Terry Mangan will anchor the broadcasts. Fox Sports 1 will carry live coverage of the championship game on Saturday.
League Tournament Spirit Animal
A Jack Russell Terrier -- it's yippy, fearless, and willing to attack big mean things.
Truncated Tempo-Free Profiles
|Adjusted Offensive Efficiency||46.14 (1)||34.36 (18)||30.72 (35)||34.06 (22)|
|Adjusted Defensive Efficiency||29.37 (25)||36.33 (60)||26.85 (12)||34.74 (54)|
|Possession Margin per 60 Minutes of Play||+0.28||-2.52 (51)||-4.47 (56)||+4.06 (8)|
|Pythagorean Win Expectation||80.22% (3)||45.69% (36)||60.29% (22)||48.45% (31)|
Denver is the class of the tournament but the overall strength of the league -- one that has been drenched in shade -- is pretty solid: Villanova is a handful (outside of the fourth quarter); Rutgers creates matchup problems due to the team's kung-fu grip on possession-generation; and Marquette has an offense that many teams would murder puppies for. The Big East isn't as bad as some people think -- the conference ranks fourth nationally, ahead of conferences like THUNDERDOME! and the Patriot League -- and the tournament should have some pop despite the fact that the Pioneers are head and shoulders above the rest of the league.
Only one team in the Big East lost to Denver by fewer than five goals -- Villanova (the 'Cats fell to the Pios 8-9 in overtime on Villanova's home field in miserable conditions). Denver is plus-15 in scoring margin against the Big East Tournament field, winning its games against Villanova, Rutgers, and Marquette by an average of five goals. If the Pioneers fail to take gold back home to Colorado, it would be a pretty substantial upset. Denver is just that good.
- Denver's offense is a bone-crushing hydraulic machine. Matt Brown deserves all kinds of credit for what he has accomplished with the Pioneers, and the team's efforts this season -- a year after losing a host of key offensive assets -- at canning the bean is incredible:
DENVER'S OFFENSIVE PROFILE (AS OF APRIL 28, 2014) METRIC VALUE NATIONAL RANK Adjusted Offensive Efficiency 46.14 1 Shots per Offensive Opportunity 1.20 13 Raw Offensive Shooting Rate 38.40% 2 Ratio of Shots on Goal to Total Shots per Offensive Opportunity 63.45% 5 Opponent Saves per 100 Offensive Opportunities 30.05 11 Opponent Save Percentage 39.48% 1 Offensive Assist Rate 25.86 2 Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities 39.66 10
- Dan Willis was named second team All-Big East, but I'm not sold that the Wildcats' goalkeeping situation is a rock-solid tent pole anchored 50-feet into the ground. In fact, Villanova’s goaltending profile looks like a bleeding artery that demands attention:
VILLANOVA'S GOALKEEPING PROFILE (AS OF APRIL 28, 2014) METRIC VALUE NATIONAL RANK Saves per 100 Defensive Opportunities 27.29 62 Team Save Percentage 49.30% 49 Raw Defensive Shooting Rate 29.51% 46 Ratio of Shots on Goal to Total Shots per Defensive Opportunity 58.20% 31 Shots per Defensive Opportunity 0.95 61 Defensive Assist Rate 15.40 15
- Joseph Nardella -- Rutgers' horse of a faceoff specialist -- had a great season in 2014, but it wasn't quite as strong as that of Georgetown's Tyler Knarr, the selection for first team All-Big East:
NARDELLA AND KNARR (AS OF APRIL 28, 2014) METRIC NARDELLA KNARR Individual Faceoff Percentage 65.03% 65.81% Team Faceoff Percentage 59.20% (11) 65.19% (2) Percentage of Offensive Opportunities from Faceoff Wins 43.99% (4) 40.71% (17) Percentage of Defensive Opportunities from Faceoff Losses 34.17% (46) 25.23% (65) Estimated Percentage of Faceoff Wins Won to Self 66.33% 73.79% Average of Opponents' Faceoff Win Percentage 46.43% 49.17%