2014 NCAA BIG EAST MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT INFORMATION:
Games: 13 total, divided into 7 sessions over 5 days
Dates: March 2014
Big East Tournament Bracket
Previous Big East Tournament Winners:
BIG EAST MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
The Big East Conference was formed in 1979 after seven East Coast schools - the University of Connecticut, St. John's, Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall, Syracuse and Boston College - came together with the intent of creating a basketball-centric league. The Big East Men's Basketball Tournament began in 1980 and initially shifted between league arenas before settling on its permanent home, Madison Square Garden in 1983. The tourney has grown into the most popular conference championship in men's collegiate basketball and features some of the best teams in the U.S.
The 1980s were dominated by stellar performances by Georgetown and Syracuse, who won the lion's share of Big East titles during the decade. With Syracuse's direction under Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim and the perennially talented Georgetown roster that featured future NBA stars like Patrick Ewing, Reggie Williams and Alonzo Mourning, it always seemed like it would come down to the Hoyas and the Orange. St. John's also won titles in 1983 and 1986, and Villanova and Pittsburgh joined the league during the decade to boost the conference's talent level.
During the 1990s, UConn made its jump into the upper echelon of NCAA Men's Basketball programs, capturing the title four times and winning a National Championship in 1999. Seton Hall also enjoyed a brief run of success, winning titles in 1991 and 1993 behind MVP performances by Oliver Taylor and Terry Dehere. Seton Hall's 103-70 win over Syracuse is still the largest margin of victory in the title game's history. The '90s also saw further expansion of the Big East, as Rutgers, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech joined in, providing a strange mix of teams that played Division I basketball exclusively in the Big East, while other college sports competed elsewhere.
The Big East experienced its biggest change in 2004 and 2005, when Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College bolted for the ACC. In its place, the league expanded to 16 teams and added DePaul, Marquette, Louisville, Cincinnati and South Florida from Conference USA. This turned the Big East Men's Basketball Tournament into a huge affair that continues to be one of the most thrilling events in college athletics. While Syracuse and Pittsburgh have departed for the 2013 season, the overall talent level of the league remains strong and will continue to be one of the strongest basketball conferences in America.
Big East Basketball Tournament Previews