Colin Wrba, NCAAMReview Author
Though it is not yet the old Big East, the “new” Big East is one of the top conferences in the country and hasn’t disappointed thus far. A conference made up of all schools where basketball is the main sport and main focus is the best part about it.
So far Villanova has been the team to beat and will be again this season. Winning the NCAA Tournament two years ago, conference regular season champs the past four years, as well as conference tournament champs in 2015 and 2017. It is clear that until someone can take down goliath that again Villanova is the team to beat. The top three teams in the Big East heading into the 2017-2018 season are as follows:
Villanova– As previously said, until someone beats them how can they not be the favorites. Nova hasn’t taken a step back since their National Title run. Losing Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins would make people think it may be a down year for the Wildcats, but they come in with a roster that includes Junior PG Jalen Brunson, as well as red shirt freshman Omari Spellman (18th ranked recruit Class of 2016 according to ESPN). Look for the Cats to keep trending upward and GQ Jay Wright to keep the Cats on top the Big East.
Xavier– A deep run in the NCAA tournament last season plus bringing back two important pieces Trevon Bluiett and JP Macura have the Musketeers set up for another strong season. Not to mention they have a strong recruiting class coming in. Look for Xavier to be the top dog to potentially take down Nova and expect another decent run come March.
Seton Hall– Always a scrappy and well taught defensive team the Pirates welcome back arguably the best center in the nation Angel Delgado (13.1 Rebounds Per Game). Seniors Khadeen Carrington and Desi Rodriguez on top of a solid recruiting class have the Pirates set up for NCAA Tournament appearance and a chance at another Big East title. Look for the Hall to make a little run during March.
St John’s– St John’s always seems to have athletic, big, long armed, shot blocking teams. Thus said they still have struggled over recent years. A big bright spot is Sophomore Shamorie Ponds who set the St. John’s freshman scoring record last season. They also have brought back sophomore Marcus Lovett who averaged 15.9 PPG. The Johnnies do not have enough to win the Big East, but look for them to make some noise in Chris Mullins 3rd year.