The Big East Conference Tournament 2012 tips off Tuesday afternoon at Madison Square Garden, and this SB Nation New York StoryStream is the place to come for every tidbit of information. For a full schedule with results and updates of the bracket, click here.
The Villanova Wildcats entered their 2011-12 season knowing it was going to be a different year, after losing their top two leading scorers Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes to graduation. However, 'Nova fans couldn't have imagined that their squad was going to struggle the way they did during the regular season and now the only hope to get into the postseason is to win the Big East Tournament crown.
Head Coach: Jay Wright, 11th season
One of the top coaches the in the conference, Wright took over a fledgling Villanova program in 2001 and brought it to national prominence, including a Final Four appearance in 2008-09.
Team MVP: Maalik Wayns, junior guard
Wayns is the latest in the line of excellent guards to come through the Villanova ranks, and with the graduation of Stokes and Fisher, Wayns was the go-to guy for the Wildcats this season. He led the team in scoring (17.5 ppg) and dishing (4.6 apg).
Playing For: Pride
It’s been a transition year for Villanova, and for the first time since the 2004-05 season, the Cats won’t be taking part in the NCAA Tournament (unless they run the table at MSG, of course). It’s not likely that Villanova ends up in any postseason at all.
Breakdown: Unless Villanova can find a way to go on a run in the Big East Tournament, this will be the worst team record-wise that Wright’s ever had at the school. They enter the week at 12-18 overall and finished the Big East at 5-13. Their five conference victims this season? Rutgers, Seton Hall, DePaul, Providence and St. John’s. Not exactly the upper echelon.
The Wildcats struggle defensively and are the worst shooting team in the conference at just 41% shooting this season. Obviously, that’s not a good combination. Mouphtaou Yarou and freshman JayVaughn Pinkston give the Cats a little bit of size inside, but Villanova always goes as far as their guard play takes them. There isn’t much behind Wayns and fellow junior Dominic Cheek, and those two simply aren’t at the level of Villanova’s great past guards.
Big East Tournament Seed: No. 14, will play No. 11 Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET).
Roster and stats:
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.