The Big East Conference wrapped up its men's basketball regular season Saturday, meaning the Big East Tournament is right around the corner. For local college hoops fans, this is by far the greatest time of the year.
Lucky for you, SB Nation New York is ready to get you fully prepared and keep you updated throughout the five-day, 16-team, single-elimination event at Madison Square Garden. From today until Saturday night's championship game, this will be the place to check for the latest news and results for college basketball's best conference tournament.
If you haven't yet checked out our frontpage, well, it's filled with a ton of Big East basketball goodies. Meanwhile, you're here to see who earned the honor of being named SB Nation New York's Player of the Year. Without further delay, the winner is...
Big East Coach of the Year: Jim Boeheim, Syracuse Orange
Call me a homer, front-runner or whatever you'd like, but in the middle of his 36th season, SU's head coach deserves this award for multiple reasons. Here's a few of the top of my head (okay, I looked some of these up):
Jan. 16: Syracuse defeats Pittsburgh 71-63 to improve to 20-0 for the first time in program history. Boeheim also pushes his 20-win season total total to 34 seasons, a mark not touched by any other Division I head coach (Dean Smith had 30).
Jan. 23: Syracuse wins at Cincinnati 60-53 as Boeheim earns career victory 877 and passes Adolph Rupp for fourth all-time on the men's Division I list.
Feb. 8: Syracuse beats Georgetown 64-61 in overtime as Boeheim earns career victory 880 and leapfrogs Dean Smith for third all-time on the men's Division I list. Boeheim also is now alone at the top for most wins by a coach at the same school.
Feb. 25: Despite not having a single player on his roster ranked in the Big East's top 10 in points or rebounds (or in the nation's top 50), Syracuse defeats UConn 71-69 to clinch the Big East regular-season crown with one game remaining.
March 3: (Including the same facts above) Syracuse ends the regular season as the conference's third-best offensive and defensive team, while being fifth in the nation in scoring margin and tops in turnover margin -- by a lot.
This goes without mentioning Boeheim being involved in the biggest scandal in the history of the university, which led to him being criticized, scrutinized and sued for defamation.
Of course, none of these accomplishments would have been possible if Boeheim somehow during the offseason didn't help turn Fab Melo from a liability into the most important player on SU's roster, all while convincing sophomore guard Dion Waiters -- who could be the Orange's most talented player -- to not transfer during the spring but instead become a player with a fiery edge that could be counted on to perform in the clutch.
Does Boeheim have the deepest and, possibly, most talented team in the conference? Yes.
However, during SU's 2010-09 season, which featured the Orange going 30-5 overall and 15-3 in the Big East, Boeheim cruised to Coach of the Year honors with arguably a better team.
Then, there's this fact -- in the history of the Big East, no head coach has not won Coach of the Year honors after finishing league play with just one loss. The last time that happened was in 1995-96, when Jim Calhoun and UConn went 17-1 during a 32-3 regular-season.
I understand what Notre Dame Fighting Irish's Mike Brey has done this year, especially after losing Tim Abromaitis to a season-ending injury, but Boeheim's numbers this year are just too great to ignore.
For a complete rundown of all the Big East Tournament, check out this SB Nation New York StoryStream.
For a SB Nation New York preview of other Big East schools, click on its respective links: Syracuse, Marquette, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Georgetown, South Florida, Louisville, West Virginia, Connecticut, Seton Hall, Rutgers, St. John's, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Providence, DePaul.