Despite Connecticut (+220) and Creighton (+300) being favored heading into the competition, it was the Marquette Golden Eagles and Xavier Musketeers meeting in the championship, both defeating the top of the oddsboard in the semifinals. Marquette cashed in a +150 moneyline after knocking off Connecticut in a close 70-68 finish. Likewise, Xavier defied the odds and sailed past their +3.5-point line to trounce Creighton 82-60.
It was the Golden Eagles that soared to the top in a 65-51 victory to pick up their first conference title ever.
Who Are The Favorites To Win The Big East Tournament In 2023?
|Marquette (#6)||-2 (-112)|
|Xavier (#15)||+2 (-108)|
Odds as of March 11
Big East Tournament Odds:
Marquette Golden Eagles Inching By Wins
The Golden Eagles (25-6) have soared to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 Poll, their highest ranking since 2011-12. Since the start of December, Marquette has dropped just four contests, two of which ended in OT. The Golden Eagles went 17-3 in conference play to secure the top spot in the Big East. The Golden Eagles', who have come out on top in six ranked regular season meetings, first appearance in the tournament was a nail-biter, taking a 72-70 OT win over St. John’s in Thursday’s quarterfinals. The tight scoreboard split over into the semifinals too, winning by just two points.
FINAL — MARQUETTE 70, UCONN 68— John Fanta (@John_Fanta) March 11, 2023
THE MARQUETTE GOLDEN EAGLES ARE HEADING TO THEIR FIRST BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP GAME.
The team averages 80.4 points per game to rank 13th in the nation, featuring four players scoring in double digits. Sophomore Kam Jones leads the pack, averaging 15.1 points in 30 minutes per game. Tyler Kolek averages 13.1 points and 7.8 dimes, ranking second in Division 1 basketball in assists per game. Meanwhile, sophomore Oso Ighodaro (11.7 PPG) is shooting 65.7 percent from the floor to sit sixth nationally in that category.
You might be able to slow down a couple, but you can’t stop them all. That’s what sets Marquette apart from the rest of its Big East competition.
Xavier Musketeers Smash Semi's
The Musketeers (25-8) finished second in the Big East which earned them a bye to the quarterfinals, where they paired with DePaul as clear 12.5-point favorites. The 89-84 finish wasn't enough for them to cover but it was all they needed to advance. The high scoreboard was a reflection of Xaviers talent, which averages 82.3 PPG to rank sixth in college basketball.
Putting up points is easy when you have a stacked court of five players averaging double-digits, three of which earn over 15 PPG including leader Souley Boum (17 PPG). The senior dropped 23 points in the Musketeers' insane 82-60 victory over No. 24 Creighton.
Souley Boum had 23 points to lead four Musketeers in double figures as Xavier advanced to the BIG EAST Championship game with an 82-60 win over No. 3 seed Creighton at @TheGarden!— Xavier Basketball (@XavierMBB) March 11, 2023
Presented by @TriHealth pic.twitter.com/YpluJ17yS5
Meeting Marquette will pose its challenges. Xavier isn't pretty in the defensive zone, allowing 74.3 PPG to rank close to the 300th area. Meanwhile, as we know, the Golden Eagles sit tight in Division 1's top 15 for offense. If the Musketeers stand any chance, it will need to stick together defensively.
Last 10 Big East Tournament Winners
In 2013, the Big East Conference was rebranded as the American Athletic Conference following realignment. Seven schools featured in the current standings joined former members to form the new Big East Conference. Well, Villanova sure was happy about that change as it went on to win five of the following eight tournaments.