2013 Big East Tournament: Teams That Can Make a Run in Conference Championship

T.J. BrennanCorrespondent IIMarch 11, 2013

SOUTH BEND, IN - JANUARY 21: Otto Porter Jr. #22 of the Georgetown Hoyas shoots the ball over Pat Connaughton #24 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Jack Cooley #45 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Purcel Pavilion on January 21, 2013 in South Bend, Indiana. Georgetown defeated Notre Dame 63-47. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Every year during the Big East Tournament, a team gets hot and makes a run. 

Last year, Louisville needed to win four games in as many days to win the conference tournament.  The year before, Connecticut won five games in five days to win the tournament. 

This year will be no different. With the Big East Tournament set to begin on Tuesday, there are several teams to keep your eyes on. 


Providence Friars

The Providence Friars are no longer a basement-dweller in the Big East.  The team has made great improvements this season, earning a 17-13 overall record, including 9-9 in conference play. 

Providence is led by its guards Bryce Cotton and Vincent Council.  Cotton finished the 2012 regular season leading the conference in scoring with 19.6 points per game.  Council finished the year averaging 10 points and seven assists per game. 

The guards draw so much attention from opposing defenses that the frontcourt is often overlooked.  Forwards LaDontae Henton and Kadeem Batts are long, athletic and disruptive in the paint.  The 6’10” Batts can go head-to-head with any center in the conference. 

The energy of this young Friars team, aided by athleticism, is conducive to a deep run in the conference tournament. 


Any team where there's a prolific scorer, much like Cotton, there’s a possibility of a run. 



St. John’s Red Storm

Speaking of scorers, St. John’s is home to the Big East’s third-best scorer in D’Angelo Harrison, who pours in 17.8 points per game. 

Harrison has the ability to score 30 points if needed, and is capable of making big shots to win games. 

St. John’s is very similar to Providence in many areas.  St. John’s also has a dominant center in Chris Obekpa, who is No. 2 in the country in shots blocked, averaging 4.1 blocks per game.  He’s behind only Nerlens Noel of Kentucky in that category. 

The team is full of athletic players, and that athleticism makes up for inexperience. 

Plus, the team is playing at its home arena, Madison Square Garden. 


Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Notre Dame has one of the best fundamental teams in the Big East. 

The Fighting Irish are led by senior forward Jack Cooley, who owns the paint in every game he’s in.  Cooley pulls down 10.6 rebounds per game, which leads the Big East. 

The Fighting Irish also have a tandem of junior guards in Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant, who average 5.9 and 5.7 assists per game, respectively. 

Veteran players can take a team far in the conference tournament, and Notre Dame is stacked with experience.