The Big East conference, the strongest conference in the nation, will take a major step toward crowning a champion as they kick off the quarterfinals of their conference tournament this weekend.
Defending champion St. John’s faces a stiff test against Georgetown, while tournament favorites UConn will play host to Villanova. The most enticing match-up of the quarterfinals could be Marquette’s visit to streaking Louisville, while Syracuse will host their quarterfinal against Notre Dame as an underdog.
The winners of the four Big East Quarterfinals will square off at Red Bull Arena on Friday in the semifinals, with the Big East Final set for Sunday at the same venue.
The loss suffered by SBI No. 1 Maryland to Wake Forest on Thursday likely means that No. 1 Akron can re-take the top spot it held in the SBI pre-season Top 25 with a win against Western Michigan. Out West. UCLA can clinch the Pac-12 title with a victory against Cal.
Here is a rundown of all the matches featuring SBI Top 25 teams this weekend.
Big East Tournament Quarterfinals
(14) Louisville vs. (8) Marquette
(4) UConn vs. Villanova
Syracuse vs. (5) Notre Dame
(6) Georgetown vs. (20) St. John’s
(2) Akron vs. Western Michigan, 7:30pm
(7) Coastal Carolina vs. High Point, 7pm
(10) New Mexico vs. Houston Baptist, 9pm
(11) Charlotte vs. George Washington, 5pm
Evansville vs. (19) Creighton, 8pm
Cal State Fullerton vs. UC-Riverside, 10pm
Bowling Green vs. West Virginia, 7pm
Cornell vs. Dartmouth, 6pm
Cal Poly vs. UCSB, 10pm
(9) UCLA vs. California, 8pm
(12) Xavier vs. UMass, 1pm
(13) Saint Louis vs. Butler, 3pm