Conference Battles

Tonight’s Big East matchup’s provide us with two games that will showcase everything that the conference prides itself on. Defense and toughness.

The marquee matchup of the night is between the number 25 Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the number 20 Pittsburgh Panthers. The other matchup of the night is between the Villanova Wildcats and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

Although the ‘Nova-Rutgers game highlights two unranked teams it plays a factor into the Big East conference standings as the Wildcats are currently ranked ninth in the conference with the Scarlet Knights following closely behind in the 12 spot.

Both teams trying to finish the season strong heading into the Big East Tournament at the Madison Square Garden and trying to earn a spot in the field of 64 at the NCAA tourney.

Key players to watch in the game include Rutgers leading scorer Eli Carter averaging just under 15 points per game, and Villanova start JayVaughn Pinkston averaging 12 points, five rebounds and two assists per game.

The highlighted game of the night between ND and Pitt will be the game I am watching though. Both teams ranked in the top 25 in the

Notre Dame center Jack Cooley fights for the basketball in a game vs Pittsburgh last season.

Notre Dame center Jack Cooley fights for the basketball in a game vs Pittsburgh last season.

country as well as tied for fifth in the Big east.

Both teams play what you call a “burn it” offense. This entails the teams holding the ball as long as possible for each possession until getting the best possible look at the basket.

Classic Big East Basketball. 

Players I’d watch out for in the game will be Wooden Award candidate Jack Cooley for the Fighting Irish who is averaging a double-double per game in Big East play and leading scorer for the Panthers, Tray Woodall. Woodall is a sniper from behind the arc.The game should be low scoring because of physical defense and a low turnover percentage from both teams on the court.

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