The Big East Tournament semifinals were two hard-fought games ending in a David vs Goliath championship.
We’re onto the 2021 Big East Tournament Finals tonight, with one team trying to make a “Cinderella”-esque run into March Madness and another trying to prove they’re one of the best teams in the country. Here are three takeaways from the Big East Tournament semifinals.
1) Seton Hall Pirates – This is Jared Rhoden’s Team
With the 66-58 loss against the Georgetown Hoyas last night, this was most likely the last time Pirates’ fans will see Sandro Mamukelashvili in the blue and white. Mamu gave Pirates fans everything he had all season, leading to a finalist selection for the Karl Malone Award, a unanimous selection to the All-Big East First Team, and a share of Big East Player of the Year. However, Mamu’s final performance left a lot to be desired, shooting 3-16 from the floor and 1-5 from beyond the arc. The Pirates were able to stay in the game thanks to Jared Rhoden, who has consistently shown he can be the guy for Seton Hall. Backed by his stellar performance last night of 22 points on 9-18 from the floor, Rhoden showed that this is his team going forward.
2) Creighton Blue Jays – The Offensive Powerhouse Strikes Again
The Blue Jays knew they would end up in a Friday contest against the Huskies. What they didn’t know was that they would start the game and fall behind 13-2 right out of the gate. However, UConn failed to put the nail in the coffin needed to keep this Creighton team down. With contributions up and down the lineup from Zegarowski and Ballock to Kalkbrenner and Mitchell off the bench, this team can beat you up from inside the paint and knock threes down like it’s nobody’s business. This is a scary team to match up against in the field of 64 and they showed you exactly why last night.
3) Georgetown Hoyas – Does the Slipper Fit?
The best storyline of the Big East Tournament has far and away been the Georgetown Hoyas. Three games, three W’s in the win column as they look to punch their ticket to the “Big Dance” for the first time since 2015. A big reason for that? They’re getting contributions from everywhere you look in the lineup. The veteran presence of Jamorko Pickett and Jahvon Blair has finally been rewarded with the increased help from underclassmen standouts Dante Harris and Qudus Wahab. Grad transfer Chudier Bile has also made his presence felt on this unprecedented run towards a possible Big East Tournament Championship. And by the way, this is the first time in Big East history that the team picked last in the Preseason Coaches Poll has made it to the championship game. Kudos to Patrick Ewing and his staff for such a quick turnaround.