2019 Big East Tournament Preview

 

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Photo Courtesy of Denver Athletics                                                                                                                  

After Saturday’s games the regular season is over and it’s time for the post-season. In the Big East their conference tournament will start on Thursday, May 2nd with the semifinals and end with the championship game on Saturday, May 4th. The tournament will be held in Denver, Colo. at Peter Barton Stadium. 

In the Big East tournament Denver has the top seed and they will play the fourth seeded Villanova, and the number two seeded Georgetown will take on number three seed Providence. The Big East tournament always seems to end up being crazy and playing spoiler in the NCAA tournament and I wouldn’t expect anything different this year. 

#2 Georgetown vs #3 Providence – Semifinals

The Georgetown Hoyas will take on the Providence Friars  in the first semifinal game on Thursday. In the regular season meeting between these two was closer than many expected as Georgetown won 17-15 in a two-goal victory. If this semifinal matchup is anything like the regular season one then it should be a very exciting one to kick off the Big East tournament. 

Georgetown has been very good all season and they come into the post-season after winning their last three games in the regular season. Their offense has been the catalyst to their success. That duo of Jake Carraway and Daniel Bucaro is deadly if you don’t try to at least shut one guy off. Carraway has 75 points (48G,27A) so far this season while Bucaro has 71 points (48G,23A). While they are a little younger on the defensive end of the field, sophomore goalie Owen Mcelroy has been very good in cage while making 169 saves with a 53% save percentage. The Hoyas like to get out and run to utilize their offensive prowess so expect them to try and do that all they can in their semifinal game. When they are on they are dangerous. 

Providence has has a bumpy season as they needed that win over Villanova on Saturday to slide themselves into the Big East tournament. The Friars defense has been very good with senior goalie Tate Boyce in between the pipes. Boyce has racked up 190 saves with a 57% save percentage so far this season. On the offensive of end the Friars haven’t always been the best this season but they are led by a pair of senior attackmen in Brendan Kearns and Nick Hatzipetrakos. Both has 43 points on the season thus far. The Friars will need to play one of their best games of the season on both ends if they want any piece of this game. They are a scrappy team and could very much cause some havoc. 

#1 Denver vs #4 Villanova – Semifinals

In the second semifinal game the Denver Pioneers face the Villanova Wildcats. This was a very good regular season matchup where Villanova won 12-11, and the post-season meeting should be nothing but the same. Both sides are pretty evenly matched and play some great lacrosse. 

Denver has been pretty solid all year but is certainly not the Denver teams of the past. Despite that, they are still a force in the Big East and when they get going can be very dangerous. The Pioneers are led by Ethan Walker on the offensive end as the junior attackman has 46 points (35G,11) on the season thus far. Walker is the leader of this offense, no question. On the defensive end grad transfer LSM/D Matt Neufeldt has been leading the way in front of the cage while Alex Ready has been pretty good in between the pipes. The senior has racked up 83 saves with a 47% save percentage this season. The Pioneers will be looking to prove their worth in this tournament, and show the country that they haven’t “dropped off.”

The Wildcats have been a very good team this season but are coming off of a rocky finish in the regular season. The Villanova offense has been stellar with Connor Kirst and Keegan Khan leading the way for the Wildcats. The junior midfielder Kirst has 45 points (29G,16A) on the season thus far while the sophomore attackman Khan has 45 points as well. In goal anchoring the defense for the Wildcats has been freshman goalie Will Vitton. He has been stellar this season with 134 saves and a 53% save percentage. This is a Villanova team that can hang with anyone and force the ball down their opponents throat. This is going to be a very good matchup for sure. 

Semifinal 1 Winner vs Semifinal 2 Winner – Championship

The winners of each semifinal game will meet in the Big East championship game on Saturday May, 4th. 


BRACKET

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