How to watch the Big East Tournament: dates, times, bracket

Three top ten teams, bubble teams looking to make a four-day run to a conference title, the Big East tournament has it all.

Oh, baby, who cares about the Power Five conferences when the Big East conference tournament is right here for us to enjoy? This tournament has it all, including the defending national champs looking to repeat with a number one overall seed in the NCAA Tournament on the line, three top-10 teams and six projected bids to the NCAA tournament. It’s March Madness.

Big East Tournament format and schedule

UConn Huskies guard Stephon Castle (5) reacts after his basket against the Villanova Wildcats in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Big East has a slightly odd number of teams for a tournament: 11. But all that means is six teams play on day one while five teams get a bye until day two. 11 teams and no double byes mean this is a straightforward, four-day event. The championship game will take place Saturday, meaning everyone will have an extra day of stewing in their results from the Big East Tournament before selection Sunday arrives. Most of the games will be broadcast on FS1 throughout the day, with FOX picking up UConn’s potential semifinal and the championship game.

First Round, Wednesday, March 13

Game 1: #8 Butler vs. #9 Xavier – 4 p.m. EDT | FS1
Game 2: #7 Providence vs. #10 Georgetown – 6:30 p.m. | FS1
Game 3: #6 Villanova vs. #11 DePaul – 9 p.m. | FS1

Quarterfinals, Thursday, March 14

Game 4: #1 UConn vs. Game 1 winner – Noon | FS1
Game 5: #4 Seton Hall vs. #5 St. John’s – 2:30 p.m. | FS1

— midday break —

Game 6: #2 Creighton vs. Game 2 winner – 7 p.m. | FS1
Game 7: #3 Marquette vs. Game 3 winner – 9:30 p.m. | FS1

Semifinals, Friday, March 15 

Game 8: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner – 5:30 p.m. | FOX
Game 9: Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 winner – 8 p.m. | FS1

Championship, Saturday, March 16

Championship: Game 8 winner vs. Game 9 winner – 6:30 p.m. | FOX

Big East Tournament storylines

While the Nos. 6-11 seeds of a conference playing games may not normally seem very exciting, Providence and Villanova are right on the NCAA tournament bubble, facing must-wins from here on out. There are games with serious implications for the tournament right from the jump. It only gets better from there, as three top-10 teams will be in action after a bye on day two: UConn, Marquette, and Creighton.

UConn is the favorite and defending national champions, but Creighton and Marquette are in the midst of some truly special seasons, too. Not to mention, they can and will go for the throat if the Huskies give them the chance.

And that’s not even touching on the impressive depth the conference has. Seton Hall and St. John’s will play their first tournament matchup against each other—two of the hottest teams in the conference and two bona fide NCAA Tournament teams are going at it in the quarterfinals. The previously mentioned bubble teams, Villanova and Providence, will be looking to start their Cinderella runs early this year and try to win four straight to guarantee a spot in the big dance.

It’s March Madness, alright, and the best time of the year to be a fan of the Big East. Men’s and women’s basketball is at its absolute peak drama and intrigue. Can the men’s tournament even live up to the incredible hype and drama of the women’s tournament? Put on your dancing shoes. It’s March.

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About the Author

Noam Gumerman is a current grad student at Davenport University on an athletic scholarship playing Ultimate Frisbee. He grew up in Chapel Hill, NC, which predictably helped develop a deep love of college sports, especially basketball. However, from birth he was indoctrinated by family into
a very intense relationship with football, but has recently grown up and developed interests in all major US sports as well as a newfound love for international soccer. When not consuming sports or sports media, Noam is an avid gamer, a topic he has also spent a fair amount of time writing about as well.

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