NBE Basketball Report
Cincinnati News


November 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

BIG EAST teams extended the conference’s winning streak to 19 games Thursday before a buzzer-beater by Massachusetts against Providence brought an end to the run. Nonetheless, BIG EAST teams were 3-2 Thursday as St. John’s, Louisville and Villanova came away with wins.

The BIG EAST’s .871 winning percentage ranks as the second-best in Division I. The Pac-12 has a .920 winning percentage through Thursday to lead the nation.

—The Red Storm scored a road win against College of Charleston in the opening round of the Charleston Classic, sending St. John’s to a semifinal matchup against Murray State at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN3.

Guard D’Angelo Harrison led all scorers with 21 points in the win. Harrison has averaged 21.5 points in the first two games for St. John’s.

The Red Storm will face either Baylor or Colorado Sunday to conclude the Charleston Classic.
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November 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Georgetown scored a 68-59 win against Liberty Wednesday night, lifting the cumulative record of BIG EAST teams to 24-2 in the 2012-13 season. BIG EAST members have won 17 consecutive games. The BIG EAST’s .923 winning percentage is the best in Division I.

Forward Greg Whittington scored a career-high 18 points with nine rebounds to pace the Hoyas past Liberty as part of the Legends Classic. Georgetown heads to Brooklyn, N.Y., to face No. 13 UCLA Monday in the semfinal round of the Legends Classic at the Barclay’s Center. The Hoyas will face either No. 1 Indiana or Georgia Tuesday.

“With all due respect to Liberty, we got some games coming up, and we’re preparing for some teams that are a little bit better than them,” said junior forward Nate Lubick, who had 13 points and eight rebounds. “We use these games to find ourselves, to find what this team’s identity is going to be. … I don’t think our sense of urgency’s really been there.”

Mikael Hopkins added 13 points for Georgetown (2-0).

Forward Otto Porter — a preseason All-BIG EAST selection — did not play Wednesday night because of “symptoms indicative of a mild concussion,” head coach John Thompson III said in a statement.

The conference’s gaudy record could be tested Thursday as five BIG EAST teams are in action, including three teams that will play on the ESPN family of networks in early-season tournaments.

—St. John’s, which opened its season with a come-from behind win against Detroit Tuesday, faces a College of Charleston team that is a perennial contender in the Southern Conference. The game, which begins at 5 p.m. on ESPNU, is part of the Charleston Classic.

Freshman center Chris Obekpa had a school-record eight blocks to go with seven points and 11 rebounds in his collegiate debut Tuesday. D’Angelo Harrison had a team-high 22 points off the bench in the win.

St. John’s had 12 blocks and held Detroit to 34.6-percent shooting.

The Red Storm will play either Auburn or Murray State Friday in Charleston.

—Providence brings its 2-0 record to Bayamon, Puerto Rico, where the Friars will face Massachusetts — one of the favorites in the Atlantic-10 race — in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

Forward Kadeem Batts scored a career-high 27 points as Providence cruised past neighboring Bryant Monday night.

Guard Vincent Council — a Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team choice — did not play against Bryant while recovering from a leg injury suffered in the season-opener and Council is out 4-5 Weeks With the Injury (CBS Sports). With heralded recruit Ricky Ledo ineligible to play this season and another star freshman Kris Dunn out until January after a preseason knee injury, the PC depth will be challenged. Bryce Cotton will be counted on heavily and he scored 24 points against Bryant. Cotton has played all 80 minutes thus far in the two games.

—Villanova also takes a 2-0 record into tournament play Thursday as the Wildcats meet Purdue in the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden. The game is slated for a 9:30 p.m. tip on ESPN2, following the opening game between Alabama and Oregon State. Jay Wright’s club will play one of those two on Friday.

Freshman guard Ryan Arcidiacono scored 25 points to lead Villanova past Marshall, 80-68, on Saturday night. James Bell added 19 points against the Thundering Herd.

The Boilermakers lost their opening game to Bucknell, but were without the services of Terone JOhnson who is recovering from a knee injury suffered in the offseason. Johnson did play 17 minutes in Purdue’s win over Hofstra and will be counted on to carry the scoring load this year as he rounds back into shape. At 9.2 points per game a season ago, Johnson is Matt Painter’s leading returning scorer.

—Louisville will welcome Samford at 7 p.m. to the Yum! Center on the BIG EAST Network as part of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Russ Smith had a game-high 23 points to lead the Cardinals past Manhattan in the season-opener Friday. Guard Peyton Siva turned in his second career double-double with 10 points and 10 assists against the Jaspers, a 79-51 victory.

—For DePaul, Thursday’s game against Gardner-Webb is the first of four games in the Cancun Challenge. The Blue Demons also will play Austin Peay at home Saturday before heading to Cancun.

Brandon Young scored a game-high 20 points in the season-opening win against UC Riverside last Friday night. The game, won by the Blue Demons 91-59, was played
on campus at McGrath Arena. Cleveland Melvin added 16 points, seven rebounds and five steals.


Monday, November 12
Pittsburgh 86, Fordham 51
Providence 81, Bryant 49
Notre Dame 84, Monmouth 57
Seton Hall 78, Norfolk State 65
Rutgers 88, Sacred Heart 62

Tuesday, November 13
St. John’s 77, Detroit 74
Cincinnati 102, Mississippi Valley State 60
Connecticut 67, Vermont 49
Marquette 64, Southeastern Louisiana 53
Pittsburgh 78, Lehigh 53 1

Wednesday, November 14
Georgetown 68, Liberty 59

Thursday, November 15
St. John’s at College of Charleston 6 – ESPNU……………………. 5:00
Samford at Louisville – BEN……………………………………………. 7:00
Providence vs. Massachusetts 2 – ESPNU…………………………. 7:30
Gardner-Webb at DePaul……………………………………………… 8:30
Villanova vs. Purdue 3 – ESPN2……………………………………….. 9:30

Friday, November 16
Connecticut vs. Wake Forest 4……………………………………….. 6:30
Rutgers at Princeton…………………………………………………….. 7:00
Maryland-Eastern Shore at USF……………………………………… 7:30
Notre Dame vs. Saint Joseph’s 5 – TruTV…………………………… 9:30
Providence vs. North Carolina State/Penn State 2………………TBD
Alabama/Oregon State vs. Villanova 3 – ESPN2/ESPNU……….TBD
St. John’s vs. Auburn/Murray State 6 – ESPN3…………………….TBD

Saturday, November 17
Austin Peay at DePaul…………………………………………………… 2:00
Oakland at Pittsburgh – BEN………………………………………….. 7:00
Seton Hall vs. Washington 7 – ESPN3……………………………….. 7:30
Loyola (Chicago) at USF………………………………………………… 7:30
Connecticut vs. Iona/Quinnipiac 4…………………………………… TBD
Notre Dame vs. Florida State/Brigham Young 5 – TruTV……….TBD

Sunday, November 18
Wagner at Syracuse – BEN…………………………………………….. 1:00
North Carolina A&T at Cincinnati – BEN…………………………… 2:00
Western Michigan at USF – BEN…………………………………….. 3:00
Miami (Ohio) at Louisville – BEN…………………………………….. 4:00
Seton Hall vs. Ohio State/Rhode Island 7 – ESPN2/ESPN3…….TBD
Providence vs. TBD 2……………………………………………………… TBD
St. John’s vs. TBD 6………………………………………………………… TBD

–All times Eastern
–BEN – BIG EAST Network (check BigEast.org for local listings)

Game Key:
1 NIT Season Tip-Off
2 Puerto Rico Tip-Off, Bayamon, P.R.
3 2K Sports Classic, New York, N.Y.
4 Paradise Jam, St. Thomas, USVI
5 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, Brooklyn, N.Y.
6 Charleston Classic, Charleston, S.C.
7 Hall of Fame Tipoff, Uncasville, Conn.

While many readers are very familiar with who is signing with the current BIG EAST schools, Larry Brown inked three players for his SMU program which will join the BIG EAST next season. Along with three impressive transfers sitting out this season (Markus Kennedy, Crandall Head & Nic Moore), SMU Gets a Crop of New Players Signed to Letters of Intent (Dallas News). The signees are:

Sterling Brown – G, 6-4, 190 – Chicago, Ill. (Proviso East)
Ben Moore – PF, 6-8, 185 – Bolingbrook, Ill. (Bolingbrook HS)
Yanick Moreira – C/PF, 6-11, 220 – Luanda, Angola (South Plains C.C.)

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The holidays are rapidly approaching, why not get that sports fan on your list something special. Order now for the 2013 Big East Tournament as it will an end of an era at Madison Square Garden this March. Below are links to buy tickets to any all sessions. Order early to secure the tickets to the special sports fan on your list or get yourself that special personalized gift!


November 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

BIG EAST teams went 5-0 Tuesday, giving the league a combined 23-2 record in the 2012-13 season. The .920 winning percentage is the best of any Division I conference thus far.

—Pittsburgh’s win Tuesaday night against 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Lehigh sends the Panthers to the championship round of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden next week. The Panthers will face Michigan November 21st and will meet either Delaware or Kansas State November 23rd in New York.

Guard Tray Woodall became the third Pittsburgh player to lead the team in scoring in as many games with 23 points against Lehigh. Junior Talib Zanna added 20 points and freshman James Robinson was the defensive star as he limited Lehigh pre-season All-American guard C.J. McCollom to 17 points.

The Panthers face Oakland Saturday before heading to Madison Square Garden for the championship rounds of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
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NBE BIG EAST REPORT: WEEK #1 (11/9/2012)

November 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The curtain will rise on the 2012-2013 college basketball season today and for the BIG EAST conference it will also be the end of an era. With West Vitginia already leaving the conference for the Big 12 and Syracuse and Pittsburgh, who will be followed closely behind by Notre Dame, playing their last season before departing for the ACC, the BIG EAST as we have come to know and love will never be the same.

The conference will grow and survive with the additions next season of Memphis, Temple, Houston, Central Florida and SMU, but make no mistake about it, the dynamics of the tightnit conference have been changed forever.

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June 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Per Big East conference news release…

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The BIG EAST Conference has announced the league opponents and game sites for its men’s basketball teams for the 2012-13 season.

The conference schedule – which comprises 135 regular-season games – will once again yield some of the most-anticipated contests nationally in 2012-13. Nearly 80 percent of the regular-season league games (107 of 135) will include at least one team that reached the NCAA Championship last season. Thirty-seven games (27 percent) will be between two NCAA tournament teams from 2012.

Additionally, each of the 15 BIG EAST teams will play either nine or 10 of its 18 league games against NCAA tournament teams. Each team will face 10 opponents once and four opponents twice. All 135 regular-season conference games will again be televised, either by the ESPN family of networks or CBS Sports.

The decisions regarding repeat opponents are driven by fairness and competitive balance within the parameters of television selections and geographic rivalries. The full 2012-13 conference schedule will be announced at a later date.

2012-13 BIG EAST Men’s Basketball Schedule Breakdown
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June 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – ESPN has announced the 12 matchups that will be part of the Second Annual SEC/BIG EAST Challenge, which will take place Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 2012 at home sites of the participating schools.

The BIG EAST contingent in the Challenge will include Cincinnati, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, Seton Hall, South Florida, Syracuse and Villanova (Pittsburgh, Louisville & Connecticut are not participating). Six of the BIG EAST’s 12 participating teams reached the NCAA Championship last season. The SEC has four participating teams that reached the NCAA tournament.

The 2012 SEC/BIG EAST Challenge includes the following matchups:

Thursday, November 29

Kentucky at Notre Dame
Marquette at Florida
South Carolina at St. John’s
Seton Hall at LSU

Friday, November 30

Syracuse at Arkansas
Tennessee at Georgetown
DePaul at Auburn
Georgia at USF

Saturday, December 1

Alabama at Cincinnati
Villanova at Vanderbilt
Mississippi State at Providence
Rutgers at Mississippi

The BIG EAST took the first SEC/BIG EAST Challenge, winning eight of the 12 games in 2011.


March 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Tonight’s games offer up four potentially excellent match-ups (the thing that everyone says this tournament, and really any basketball game played anywhere, is always about).

Here’s some thoughts on each game.

Syracuse vs Wisconsin

This one will be a battle of pace.

Syracuse wants to get out in transition, run and dunk, hit the trailer for three-point attempts and attack the basket off the bounce.

Wisconsin wants to take their time and get a great shot each possession. If they can’t get a great shot, they want Jordan Taylor to create late in the shot clock on the perimeter by either raising up for a 3, getting to the rim and getting fouled or finding open three-point shooters with kick outs. Or the want Ryan Evans to do the same in the mid-to-low block. Wisconsin wants the game in the 50′s or 60′s, Syracuse in the 80′s. Look for a heavy dose of short corner and free throw line finds in the half court action of the Badgers against the Orange 2-3 zone. Roc Christmas was outstanding against Kansas State in the place of Fab Melo. Another big aspect in this game will be how physical the refs allow things to get. I’m hard-pressed to call anyone a clear favorite here but I think Syracuse’s depth will win it for them.
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March 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Selection Sunday has arrived and the 2012 NCAA Tournament field of 68 has been revealed. Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina and Michigan State head the field as this year’s #1 seeds. The BIG EAST also highlights the field, sending nine representative from the conference to the tournament.

The action will once again tip off Tuesday night in Dayton with the ‘First Four’, a pair of games on both Tuesday and Wednesday night, and this year’s final destination is New Orleans, the host city of the ‘Final Four.’

Below are where the teams ended up for their early round contests. Plenty of tickets are available and fans can get their seats through our relationship with Ticketnetwork.com. Do not hesitate, tickets will be going quickly now that the teams have been placed in their locations.

Our partnership with TicketNetwork.com allows you to pick the seats you want from their tremendous inventory at great prices. See below for 2012 NCAA Tournament Sites and tickets available:
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March 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Selection Sunday has arrived. It seems like just yesterday we were reporting on Midnight Madness activities and stories. Many tournament tickets have already been punched, but now fans have a chance to get their tickets at all the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament sites below. Get your tickets now to make sure in your the building to see the greatest sporting event of the year!!

The 2012 NCAA Tournament tips of Tuesday night with the ‘First Four’ doubleheader in Dayton, Ohio. Thursday the tournament will hit full speed with second and third round games being played in the following host cities:


Atlanta, Phoenix, Boston and St. Louis will be 2012 regional cities.

The 2012 NCAA Tournament Final Four will be played at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans (LA).

Our partnership with TicketNetwork.com allows you to pick the seats you want from their tremendous inventory at great prices. See below for 2012 NCAA Tournament Sites and tickets available:
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March 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Lauren Kirschman

Connecticut rallied behind Shabazz Napier and Jeremy Lamb to beat West Virginia in overtime and extend their two-year Big East Tournament run to seven straight wins. Georgetown was too much for Pittsburgh and then in the evening session it was Louisville and South Florida living up to their seeds to earn victories and move the today’s quarterfinal round. Here is the full recap of Wednesday’s action:

No. 9 Connecticut 71, No. 8 West Virginia 67

Connecticut hasn’t lost a post-season basketball team since it fell to Virginia Tech 65-63 in the NIT on March 22, 2010. On Wednesday afternoon, the Huskies defeated West Virginia 71-67 in overtime to keep their streak, and their chances of a second-consecutive Big East tournament title, alive.

West Virginia looked like it was going to pull away from Connecticut in the second half as Kevin Jones and the Mountaineers seemed to track down every rebound in building a double digit lead.

The Huskies trailed 50-40 with less than 10 minutes left in the game, but Connecticut outscored West Virginia 25-15 over the remainder of the half to tie the game at 65 at the end of regulation.

Shabazz Napier led a 9-0 run for the Huskies that tied the game at 63. He scored the last two baskets of the scoring surge with two straight steals and ensuing layups.

Napier had a chance to win the game at the regulation buzzer, but missed a long 3-pointer. Napier fouled out with 2:35 left in overtime, but Jeremy Lamb took over late to lead the Huskies to the win. He hit a 3-pointer with 1:04 left in the game to give the Huskies a three point lead, 70-67.

Ryan Boatright sealed the win for the Huskies with a free throw that produced the final score with 20 seconds left in the game.

Napier scored 26 points and Lamb added 22 for Connecticut. Kevin Jones led the Huskies with 25 points, but didn’t score in overtime. The Mountaineers didn’t score a field goal in overtime with their two points coming on free throws from Truck Bryant.

Key Factors: The stars. Kevin Jones and Jeremy Lamb both disappeared down the closely-contested last stretch of the second half. Luckily for Connecticut, Shabazz Napeir guided the Huskie’s comeback. The Mountaineers’ weren’t so lucky. When Jones struggled, so did West Virginia’s offense, and the Mountaineers’ let the Huskies back into the game. In overtime, Lamb reemerged to hit the most important shot of the game. Jones didn’t score.

Promising Future: Sophomore Shabazz Napier and freshman Ryan Boatright both played well in the backcourt for the Huskies who, by their standards, are underachieving this season, but could be coming together at the right time once again. Boatright added 10 points and three assists to Napier’s 26-point performance. Who else is young for the Huskies? If everyone would return for another year at the collegiate level, the Huskies would have every player that saw the floor on Wednesday back next year.

Area of Concern: Rebounding. The Mountaineers were able to pull away in the second half because they dominated the Huskies on the boards. That’s something that could hurt Connecticut later in the tournament and with No. 1-seed Syracuse looming, the Huskies need to rebound better. West Virginia finished with a 40-24 rebounding advantage.

Key Quotes:

“I told Jeremy, you’ve got to be willing to shoot now, you’ve got to be looking for hits, and when he came off that curve, there was no doubt in my mind it was going in because that’s what he works on in practice.” –Shabazz Napier

“We don’t have, as we normally do during the season, before the game we put ’16′ [games] up, ’17′, as we go forward. Getting ready for the DePaul game we put ’1′ up. I said, look around, new season.” –Jim Calhoun

No. 5 Georgetown 64, No. 13 Pittsburgh 52

Georgetown head coach John Thompson III emphasized two areas entering the Hoyas’ second game against Pitt this season: points in the paint and rebounding.

His team got the message.

Georgetown out-rebounded Pitt 36-25 and scored 28 points in the paint to 20 for the Panthers. Pitt didn’t have an answer for Henry Sims, who dominated the Panthers inside with 20 points and 13 rebounds.

After trailing early, the Hoyas finished the first half on a 16-2 run to take a 31-23 lead into halftime. Pitt showed signs of life early in the second as Georgetown switched to man-to-man and the Panthers went on a 6-0 run to close the gap to two points.

But Thompson called a timeout and switched the Hoyas back to zone. The Hoyas then hit two consecutive threes and with the Panthers unable to effectively attack offensively, Georgetown continued to pull away for the comfortable win.

With the loss, the Panthers’ last hope of making the NCAA Tournament has been dashed. Pitt will now wait to find out if they earn a bid to the National Invitation Tournament.

Key Factors: Defense and ball movement. Pitt carved up the Hoyas’ zone defense in its win over Georgetown in January. The second time around, however, the Panthers couldn’t penetrate or get the ball inside. Instead, Pitt took 3-pointers and jumpers — and the Panthers didn’t knock down very many of them. On the other end of the court, the Panthers couldn’t stop the Hoyas, especially inside, as they struggled through foul trouble.

Promising Future: Only senior Ashton Gibbs reached double figures for the Panthers and no Pitt player played especially well. However, sophomore J.J. Moore came on for Pitt at the end of the season and played well against St. John’s on Tuesday. Pitt could’ve used Moore’s ability to drive to the basket against the Hoyas and they’ll need his scoring ability next season with Gibbs and Robinson leaving the program.

Area of Concern: Not much. The Hoyas won nearly every statistical category against the Panthers, but they did get off to a slow start. Georgetown will need to play better early against a team that might find more success against the zone. And if the zone doesn’t work, Georgetown will have to revert to its man-to-man defense, which, in order for the Hoyas to keep advancing, must work better than it did against the Panthers.

Key Quotes:

“I thought [Sims] was very good today in terms of his effectiveness on the block, his effectiveness as a passer and his decision making.” –John Thompson III

“This is the first time in our lives we’ve gone through this situation. We’re going to finish off strong.” –Nasir Robinson on not making the NCAA Tournament, potentially playing in NIT

No. 7 Louisville 61, No. 10 Seton Hall 55

Louisville held off a late surge from Seton Hall on Wednesday to pick up a 61-55 win and advance to the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Russ Smith scored five of his 11 points to keep Louisville ahead of Seton Hall as the Pirates slimmed a 14-point second half deficit to four points with 47.9 seconds left.

But Smith responded with a free throw to push the lead back to five. After a Theodore miss, Kuric added another foul shot that sealed the win for the Cardinals.

The Pirates, sitting on the bubble like several other Big East teams, now await their NCAA Tournament fate.

Louisville went into the break with a slim 23-22 lead, but used a 20-6 run at the start of the second half to pull away.

Jordan Theodore and Herb Pope led the Pirates once again with 17 and 11 points, respectively. Peyton Siva scored 14 points and recorded six steals for the Cardinals. Kyle Kuric added 13 points.

Keys to the Game: Defense. Louisville held Seton Hall to 32.7 percent shooting from the field and 15.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc. The Cardinals also held Seton Hall to 25 percent shooting in the first half. The Cardinals’ defense has given plenty of teams fits this season and will be the key to Louisville making a run in the Big East and NCAA tournaments.

Area of Concern: Killer instinct. The Cardinals used a 20-6 run to pull away from Seton Hall, but they couldn’t keep a desperate Pirates’ team from making a comeback to slim the lead to four points. Luckily for the Cardinals, they were able to hold on for the win, but they’ll need to be more consistent as they continue the postseason. Louisville also got off to a slow start, shooting poorly in the first half, and let the Pirates hang around despite their own low shooting percentage.

Key Quotes:

“[Us and Seton Hall] are a mirror image of each other. We play the same type of zone that’s really man. We try to confuse the opponents. We press a little bit more than they do.” –Rick Pitino

“As long as we continue to play defense and continue to get steals, then that’s when we’re at our best. When we just focus on offense and focus on that, then we play bad, we have our slumps.” –Peyton Siva

No. 6 South Florida 56, No. 14 Villanova 47

South Florida added another Big East win to its NCAA Tournament resume on Wednesday night.

The Bulls proved their defensive prowess once again, holding Villanova to 34 percent shooting on the field. A South Florida opponent has failed to reach 60 points for the ninth-straight game.

Villanova fell to the Bulls for the third time this season. South Florida led by 10 points, 27-17, at the half and the Wildcats never really threatened. They didn’t pass 40 points until less than two minutes remained in the contest.

Anthony Collins led the Bulls with 17 points, while Mouphtaou Yarou scored 20 for Villanova.

The Bulls move on to face third-seeded Notre Dame on Thursday in what should be another low-scoring affair.

Keys to the Game: Defense. South Florida is the best defensive team in the conference and the Bulls showed their ability to lockdown opponents on Wednesday. Most teams have struggled to score against South Florida this season, which is why the Bulls finished sixth in the conference and are likely headed to the NCAA Tournament.

Area of Concern: Offense. As good as South Florida’s defense is, it couldn’t cover up the Bulls’ offensive struggles against a less than mediocre Villanova squad. South Florida shot 42 percent in failing to reach 60 points.

Tickets might be sold out to the general public…but you can still get your tickets at the links below with our partnership with TicketNetwork.com:


Thursday, March 8 – Quarterfinals (ESPN)
Noon No. 9 Connecticut vs. No. 1 Syracuse
2:00 No.5 Georgetown vs. No. 4 Cincinnati


7:00 No. 7 Louisville vs. No. 2 Marquette
9:00 No. 6 South Florida vs. No. 3 Notre Dame


Friday, March 9 – Semifinals (ESPN)
7:00 Thursday afternoon winners
9:00 Thursday evening winners


Saturday, March 10 – Championship (ESPN)
9:00 Semifinal winners

For the best deal for 2011 BIG EAST Tournament Tickets, by an all-session strip:



March 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The bright lights of Broadway will begin shining today at high noon as the 2012 BIG EAST Tournament will get underway. Leading off the action will be the #9 seeded UConn versus the #16 seed DePaul. These very two teams opened the tournament last season and the Huskies began their improbable March run of 11 straight wins with a 97-71 win over the Blue Demons. Do they have it in them again?

“Last year we did the impossible,” Alex Oriakhi told the Hartford Courant. “So we know anything is possible.”

Of course, last year the Huskies had Kemba Walker, who had a March run that will live on through the ages. Even without Walker UConn is a team stocked with talent. Sophomore Jeremy Lamb and freshman Andre Drummond could be lottery picks in the NBA Draft this June. Shabazz Napier and Alex Oriakhi played key roles throughout last year’s March run.
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March 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Courtesy of BIG EAST conference

NEW YORK – Fab Melo, Syracuse’s sophomore center, has been named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year by a vote of the league’s head coaches who were not permitted to vote for their own players.

The league also announced that Notre Dame junior forward Jack Cooley is the BIG EAST Most Improved Player. Syracuse sophomore guard Dion Waiters has won the BIG EAST Sixth Man Award and Georgetown senior guard Jason Clark has been named the winner of the BIG EAST Sportsmanship Award.

Melo, who came to Syracuse from Sagemont, Fla., led the BIG EAST in blocked shots in league play with a 3.7 average. He also averaged 6.1 rebounds. The 7-0, 244-pound Melo is a valued member of the Syracuse lineup. In the team’s only loss of the season, a defeat at Notre Dame, Melo did not play. He is the second straight Defensive Player of the Year winner from Syracuse. Rick Jackson was the 2010-11 honoree.

Cooley emerged as one of the BIG EAST’s best big men this season after making modest contributions a season ago. As a sophomore in 2010-11, he averaged 3.7 points and 3.1 rebounds while playing 10.3 minutes per game. This season, the 6-9 Cooley is averaging 12.5 points and owns a rebounding mark of 9.2, which ranks fourth in the BIG EAST. Cooley is a native of Glenview, Ill.
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March 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Courtesy of BIG EAST conference

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Forward Jae Crowder and guard Darius Johnson-Odom of Marquette were two of six players named to the All-BIG EAST First Team, the league announced. The conference’s head coaches choose the all-conference teams. The coaches are not permitted to vote for their own players. The league announced the All-BIG EAST First, Second and Third Teams in addition to the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.

The BIG EAST Player of the Year will come from the All-BIG EAST First Team. The conference will announce Player of the Year, Oppenheimer Funds/BIG EAST Coach of the Year, BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and American Eagle Outfitters BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Tuesday, March 6. The announcement will be made between sessions of the first day of The BIG EAST Championship Presented by American Eagle Outfitters at Madison Square Garden. The press conference will begin after the postgame interviews of the afternoon doubleheader have been completed. The other league individual awards will be announced Monday, March 5.

In addition to Crowder and Johnson-Odom, the other first-team selections are: Jeremy Lamb of Connecticut, Jason Clark of Georgetown, Kris Joseph of Syracuse and Kevin Jones of West Virginia.

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March 3, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The 2012 BIG EAST Championship Presented by American Eagle Outfitters will be the 30th straight at Madison Square Garden, the World’s Most Famous Arena. More than 3.2 million fans have gone through the turnstiles to watch the longest running conference basketball tournament at the same venue. Eleven different schools have taken home the crown. The Championship begins Tuesday with teams seeded ninth through 16th competing. Last year, it was ninth-seeded Connecticut that made it to the Saturday night championship game and took home the trophy. With Saturday’s topsy-turvy action, the Huskies find themselves in a familiar place…the #9 seed opening up the tournament with DePaul. Do they have it in them again?

On the heels of a historic regular season in which it won 30 of 31 games, including a 17-1 mark in conference play, Syracuse has earned the 2012 BIG EAST regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the 2012 BIG EAST Championship presented by American Eagle Outfitters. Syracuse enters the tournament in search of its sixth BIG EAST Championship title.

Syracuse joins Marquette, Notre Dame and Cincinnati as the top four seeds in The BIG EAST Championship, which begins Tuesday, March 6 at noon Eastern at Madison Square Garden in New York. Those four schools receive byes through two rounds of the tournament and won’t play until Thursday’s quarterfinals.

The Championship begins Tuesday with four first-round matchups. Connecticut and DePaul kick things off with a battle between the Nos. 9 and 16 seeds at noon, while No. 12 St. John’s takes on No. 13 Pittsburgh at 2 p.m. to complete the afternoon session. Those games will be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN 3D.

The Tuesday evening session begins with No. 10 Seton Hall and No. 15 Providence at 7 p.m., followed by No. 11 Rutgers against No. 14 Villanova at 9 p.m. on ESPNU and ESPN 3D.

No. 8-seed West Virginia will await the Connecticut/DePaul winner Wednesday at noon in the first of four second-round games. No. 5 Georgetown has the Pittsburgh/St. John’s winner at 2 p.m., while No. 7 Louisville takes on the Providence/Seton Hall winner at 7 p.m. No. 6 USF closes Wednesday’s action against the Villanova/Rutgers winner.

Friday’s semifinals are scheduled for 7 and 9 p.m., while the championship game tips at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Georgetown and Connecticut have won a conference-record seven BIG EAST Championships. The Huskies made history last season by winning five games in five days to take the conference crown on their way to an NCAA Championship.

The 2012 BIG EAST Tournament is already a sell out, but fans can still get their tickets. This is the last appearance in the Men’s BIG EAST championship for West Virginia and SU and Pitt are not far behind…so this year’s event promises to be one to remember!

Below are ticket links to all the sessions for this year’s event. Hundreds of seats for $10 or less are available right now so check out the links and get your seats to one of the great events of college basketball.

Here are your 2012 BIG EAST Tournament seeds:

1) Syracuse, 17-1
2) Marquette, 14-4
3) Notre Dame, 13-5
4) Cincinnati, 12-6
5) Georgetown, 12-6
6) South Florida, 12-6
7) Louisville, 10-8
8] West Virginia, 9-9
9) Connecticut, 8-10
10) Seton Hall, 8-10
11) Rutgers, 6-12
12) St. John’s, 6-12
13) Pittsburgh, 5-13
14) Villanova, 5-13
15) Providence, 4-14
16) DePaul, 2-15 (vs SHU)

We have also included a source to get tickets for the entire tournament or for each individual session as the NBE Basketball Report has partnered with TicketNetwork.com to help put fans in the stands this March. So, buy your tickets with complete confidence that you will be there (follow links to purchase tickets for each session) for the 2012 BIG EAST Tournament or Tickets to All Sporting Events!


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December 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

BIG EAST teams went 2-1 on Thursday against non-conference opponents. As a whole, the BIG EAST is 153-44 in non-conference contests, good for a 78% winning percentage.

The highlight was Rutgers’ thrilling 85-83 double overtime victory over No. 10 Florida at the RAC. The Scarlet Knights rallied from deficits in regulation and the first overtime to earn the victory.

“This is what happens when you don’t think impossible is impossible,” said RU coach Mike Rice following the game. “This is what happens when young men are determined to follow the formula and play for one another.”

Freshman guard Eli Carter scored a career-high 31 points to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists. Dane Miller posted 16 points, Myles Mack had 14 and Jerome Seagears added 13. Carter, Mack and Seagears are freshmen. Classmate Derrick Randall added four points and eight rebounds in 17 key minutes as well. Kadeem Jack, returning from a foot injury, played three minutes in his first college experience for RU.
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December 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Coming into their BIG EAST opener against Seton Hall, Jim Boeheim and the Syracause Orange knew they had to stop Pirate senior forward Herb Pope to keep SHU from having any hopes of upsetting the No. 1 team in the nation at the Carrier Dome. Mission accomplished for the Orange who moved to 14-0 with a 75-49 win last night.

“I thought our forwards did the best job all year of getting back in there and helping with him [Pope], and then Fab [Melo] and Baye [Keita] blocked a lot of shots,” said SU coach Jim Boeheim after the game.

Pope entered the contest averaging 20.3 points a game and 11.4 rebounds, but he was stymied inside by the Orange 2-3 zone defense and finished with just four points on 2-of-9 shooting and nine rebounds, while committing six turnovers and four fouls in 28 ineffective minutes.

“I thought we did a good job tonight interior on Pope and getting to their shooters,” said Beoehim.

Melo recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 blocks, also adding seven rebounds in 25 minutes. Dion Waiters was the high-scorer for the Orange with 15 points coming off the bench. The Orange, who lead the nation in steals with an 11.6 mark, had 17 steals
against the Pirates and they forced Kevin Willard’s club into 23 turnovers while only committing seven themselves.

Syracuse visits DePaul Sunday. Last year, SU beat the Blue Demons 107-59 at the Carrier Dome. It was the largest margin of victory in a conference game.

Seton Hall saw their eight-game win streak stopped with a thud, never challenging the top-ranked Orange, trailing 34-15 at the half and by as many as 33 in the second half. With 14 points, Jordan Theodore was the only Pirate to reach double figures in the loss.

The Hall hosts West Virginia Friday. The Pirates have lost six straight in the series. Their last win was 71-64 at home on Feb. 14, 2006.

Georgetown lost an 11-point lead in the second half at Louisville, but regrouped to prevail 71-68, handing the Cards their first loss of the season.

Sophomore guard Markel Starks scored a career-high 20 points and freshman forward Otto Porter contributed 14 points and 14 rebounds in the win.

“He hit some big shots for us tonight when we needed shots to be made,” Hoya head coach John Thompson III said of Starks. “He made some big plays and his defensive got better in the second half.”

Four freshmen saw action off the bench for Georgetown, led by Porter’s contributions. Jabril Trawick (9 points) Mikael Hopkins (2 points) and Greg Whittingham all made meaningful contributions as the Hoya bench outscored their Cardinals counterparts 25-17.

“It’s no doubt about that,” said Thompson about the key contributions of the four rookies. “Otto (Porter), Jabril (Trawick), Mikael (Hopkins) came in and gave us outstanding minutes. You say freshman class, and they are freshmen and this is their first BIG EAST experience, but they’ve been doing that since the summer. It’s a group that plays hard and competes.”

The Hoyas host Providence Saturday and will put their current nine-game winning streak on the line. GU has beaten the Friars in the last five meetings and holds a 31-16 advantage in BIG EAST regular-season play.

The Cardinals saw their 20-game home winning streak end with the loss. Kyle Kuric led the team with 17 points and guards Peyton Siva and Russ Smith added 15 and 14 points, respectively.

Louisville will play at No. 3 Kentucky on Saturday, a tall order for the fourth-ranked Cards that Rick Pitino knows will greatly challenge his squad.

“Well, I think Kentucky is the better basketball team right now,” said Pitino. “Running up and down and trying to outscore Kentucky would be a futile attempt to try to get a ‘W.’ They are a very good team defensively and that causes a lot of offense so we’ve got to really study. It’s more about personnel than it is any sets.”

Jeremy Lamb scored a game-high 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor in the victory at South Florida, 60-57. Lamb scored 16 points in the second half.

The game was the Huskies’ first on an away court this season and the first of a three-game suspension being served by coach Jim Calhoun. Associate head coach George Blaney took the controls and will do so again as UConn hosts St. John’s in Hartford on Saturday. The Huskies have dropped their last two meetings against the Red Storm after winning nine in a row.

Toarlyn Fitzpatrick recorded 14 points and game highs of 12 rebounds and three blocked shots in the loss. Augustus Gilchrist added 12 points and five rebounds. Stan Heath’s club will look to bounce back and get their first conference win on Sunday when they host Rutgers. USF has won their last three home meetings against the Scarlet Knights.

Senior Truck Bryant scored a career-high 34 points to lead West Virginia to an 83-69 victory over Villanova in the Big East opener for both teams last night at the WV Coliseum.

Kevin Jones, who suffered a cut near his right eye that required stitches, had 13 points and seven rebounds. Gary Browne came off the bench to score 11 points. Deniz Kilicli added 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.

WVU plays at Seton Hall Friday. The Mountaineers won last year’s meeting 56-44 in Morgantown.

Maalik Wayns and Dominic Cheek each scored 20 points in the loss for ‘Nova.

The key stretch of the game came with 5:47 left and the score tied at 63 when Bryant hit two of three free throws to start a 10-2 spurt where WVU took control of the game for good. Browne followed with a three-pointer and then Bryant answered a Wayns three with one of his own. Brown capped off the run with a driving lay-up to make the score 73-65

The lead eventually swelled to as many as 16 in the last minute, making the final distance between the two teams a little deceiving.

“That’s the best 7-6 team there is in the country,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins of Villanova. “I thought they were extremely physical.”

The Wildcats play Sunday at Marquette in their next outing, hoping to even their conference record.

Thursday’s schedule shows three BIG EAST teams hosting non-conference opponents, all on national television. Rutgers battles No. 10/10 Florida on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. followed by Vanderbilt at Marquette. At 9 p.m., ESPNU has Cincinnati hosting Oklahoma at US Bank Arena.

Thursday, December 29
Florida at Rutgers – ESPN2…………………………………..7:00
–Former RU guard Mike ROsario might miss homecoming because of back injury

Oklahoma at Cincinnati USBA – ESPNU…………………….9:00
–The Bearcats host Oklahoma Thursday at US Bank Arena. Last season UC beat the Sooners 66-56 in Oklahoma City.

Vanderbilt at Marquette – ESPN2…………………………9:00
–In last year’s matchup against Vandy, MU lost 77-76 in Nashville.

The 2012 BIG EAST Tournament promises to be one to remember. As usual, tickets will sellout, but fans can get yours early at the best prices by following the links below and get that special holiday gift for YOURSELF that you did not receive from your loved ones. Also, buy with our relationship with TicketNetwork and .


December 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

First of all, if Mick Cronin coached as well as he handles press conferences he’d be the next Mike Krzyzewski.

It was just last winter that Cronin waxed poetically following a game in Pittsburgh about the privilege of wearing a college uniform (Cronin Press Conference Steals the Show) — he was speaking about his big man Yancy Gates, who didn’t make the trip for various reasons (mostly for playing like a dog which has always been the knock on the talented big, although I’ve always felt Cronin’s offense tends to ignore him too much). Walking out of the presser another writer grabbed me and said “that guy really gets it,” after Cronin cast doubt on whether Gates would even be on his team for the rest of the season, how he hadn’t earned the right to play for an institution of higher learning with his behavior in the early season.

I just smiled at the other writer and said “we’ll see if he plays at DePaul,” which was UC’s next game. Gates played, and was seen laughing on the bench during the contest. So yeah, Cronin’s huge on lessons.

By now we all know that Xavier and Cincinnati ended in an ugly brawl that saw Gates drop Kenny Frease — who, if memory serves me correctly, once head-butted Gates in an earlier version of this game — then saw one of Gates’ teammates stomp on Frease’s head. All before Frease was seen crawling out of the pile on his hands and knees scurrying for cover (understandable).

Then Frease had his busted eye attended to at half-court, stood up and screamed “are you not entertained?” to the Musketeer faithful…okay, that’s a lie, but he did stand up and scream something that seemed to indicate he was somehow emotionally satisfied with the accomplishment of having his eye blown up on national TV.
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Mernagh: Nuggets From Weekend So Far

November 26, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

UCF and Marshall certainly made a good impression on the Big East leadership with their victories over UConn and Cincinnati.

Marcus Jordan was excellent, especially making plays down the stretch (while UConn’s D was already looking towards the next round apparently) to get UCF their biggest win in quite some time and probably ever. Marshall’s win over the Bearcats was one I expected as the Thundering Herd are for real this season and Cincinnati proved once again with their loss to Presbyterian, at least at this point, that they’re still very much pretenders. Another result that I thought might go the Mid-Major way was Ohio vs Louisville but, whether by kind whistle or not (and that’s exactly what one of my guys told me the Ville got down the stretch) Pitino’s crew managed to get the all-important Dub).

One interesting rumor that I’ve heard more than once is that Xavier is quietly trying to enter the Big East through the back door for basketball. If that were to happen it would be fascinating to see how the Mid-Major Plus dominoes would fall were X to leave the A-10 for a league with St. John’s, Seton Hall, Marquette etc. Would Butler then try to make a move to the A-10? One things for sure if X were to move — Cincinnati would not be happy at all! not sure how solid the rumor is but it’s definitely out there in the coaching/basketball community.

Players that have impressed thus far this week as I’ve caught random glimpses through the turkey/brisket induced-haze:

Evan Roquemore from Santa Clara is a 6’3 point that I raved about from seeing him in Milwaukee a few years back at the NY2LA event. He went for 27 5 and 4 against New Mexico in a win and then for 27 10 and 4 in a loss to Oklahoma. His Broncos take on Villanova next tomorrow at 6:30. Watch for this kid who pinned a much bigger guy hard while I was watching the New Mexico game but somehow didn’t get credited for the block. He’s the real deal obviously and he’s added some flamboyance to his usually understated style with a Mohawk. If he keeps going for 27 and 10 he can continue to pull that look off. The sophomore guard is averaging 17 6 and 4 for they year while shooting 53% from deep and 48% from the floor.

Keith Clanton from UCF. The 6’8″ Junior local kid (Orlando product) went for 20 in the Knights win over UConn while hitting 4-5 from the three-point line, hit all his free throws and collected 6 rebounds in 38 minutes. For the year Clanton is averaging 19 and 9 while hitting 59% from the floor and 49% from deep. He’s definitely been putting in work and doing it much more efficiently than any of his more-famous mates. Credit Jordan as I did in the opening graph but recognize Clanton’s game as well.

Just saw that Northeastern drilled St. John’s earlier today 78-64 as the Red Storm were again without coach Steve Lavin who’s recuperating and resting following recent surgery to remove cancer. Best wishes to Lav on his continued recovery and also to Notre Dame forward Tim Abromaitis who tore his ACL and is out for the year. Here’s hoping he can get a 6th year and ball out in 2012-13.

Khem Birch got his first start for Pitt and responded with 15 10 and 3 blocks. JJ Moore also contributed with 12 and 6 in 31 minutes with efficient play. Will be good to see tomorrow night how both handle some regular season success. IMHO Pitt needs both guys on the floor for good minutes to be the best they can be this year.

I’m in Dayton tonight as I’m visiting relatives for Thanksgiving and that will allow me a good look at A-10 squad Charlotte and Horizon opponent Wright State. I watched WSU practice yesterday and they’re a young group that has some really enticing pieces for the future. It will be interesting to see how they respond off the last few days which have been difficult for them. The Raiders played very well against Florida in a loss but then, as is common with young teams, forgot to show up a few nights later against North Florida and took a bad loss.

Charlotte is an athletic and long group from just watching some warm ups here so hopefully it will be another good game (I haven’t seen a bad one yet this season).


November 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

BIG EAST teams are a combined 31-2 in the early going this season, with both losses coming yesterday.

West Virginia got the day started off early for BIG EAST watchers with a 10 AM game hosting Kent State as part of the ESPN College Hoops Tip-ff Marathon. The young Mountaineers fell to one of the MAC pre-season favorites 70-60 in Morgantown.

WVU had a 5-point lead at the half, but it quickly disappeared and Rob Senderoff earned his first win as the new head coach of Kent Statet. A 19-4 run midway through the second half seized control of the game for the Golden Flashes. Bob Huggins did not want to use youth as an excuse.

“We throw the ball to them; we throw the ball to them for layups, we don’t get back and today it wasn’t just the freshmen,” said Huggins to msnsportsnet.com. “Today we had seniors who didn’t do their job.”
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October 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Raphielle Johnson

Wednesday was a big day for the Big East Conference with Men’s Basketball Media Day being held at the New York Athletic Club with Madison Square Garden still being renovated. Of course the topic du jour had little to do with the upcoming action on the courts around the league but rather what the next step will be for a conference hit hard by realignment. Tuesday’s teleconference with commissioner John Marinatto, which was supposed to clear up matters and leave this stage to the players and coaches, did little in that regard.

Media from around the country wanted to hear directly from the coaches how the lack of stability is affecting them from a recruiting standpoint as well as what options may be available to them in the near future. Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey essentially said that regardless of what may happen (Big East expansion to 12 football-playing members or a Big 12 expansion that includes current Big East members) the Irish will be alright, which is to be expected of a school with such a storied football program.

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino minced no words on the subject, saying that while he couldn’t imagine the Big East without charter member Syracuse he could imagine the conference without Pittsburgh. And then came the unfortunate analogy that sparked numerous “pot meet kettle” reactions given the coach’s own issue a couple summers ago.
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