Big East record in 2024 NCAA Tournament (Updated after First Round)

The downside? The Big East only received three NCAA Tournament bids. The upside? All three teams are pretty excellent.

Donovan Clingan, Connecticut Huskies
Donovan Clingan, Connecticut Huskies / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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The Big East was snubbed by the selection committee, with only three teams from the conference admitted to the big dance — No. 1 seed Connecticut, No. 2 seed Marquette, and No. 3 seed Creighton. Now, if there's a positive, it's the fact that all three teams have what it takes to go the distance. No conference has a stronger group of three in the NCAA Tournament, so the Big East is still operating from a position of power.

The Huskies claimed the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament by winning the conference. Donovan Clingan has taken it to another level in recent weeks. Generally speaking, few teams can match the combined talent and cohesion of Dan Hurley's squad. The reigning champs feel like a real threat to repeat.

Marquette was bounced early in last season's tourney, but Tyler Kolek is looking to go out with a bang. In terms of balance and cohesion, the Golden Eagles also rank favorably. And, that's right, the same can be said about Creighton. The Bluejays are a veteran bunch that has been around the block a couple times already.

At this point in the season, we cannot underrate the value of team synergy.

Big East record in March Madness

After First Round: 3-0

The Big East teams were all heavily favored. Each game ended with a fairly comfortable margin of victory.

UConn stomped No. 16 Stetson, 91-52. It was an incredibly balanced effort, with all five starters scoring in double figures. Clingan led the way with 19 points, eight rebounds, and four assists on 9-of-11 shooting. The wasn't much of an answer from undersized, undermanned Stetson.

For Creighton, it was a 77-60 win over No. 14 Akron. It was a real masterclass from 7-foot-1 senior Ryan Kalkbrenner, who led the team with 23 points, eight rebounds, and three blocked shots while going 9-of-14 from the field. The Bluejays also had five scorers in double figures, with Trey Alexander (19 points) and Baylor Scheierman (15 points, 13 rebounds) looking especially good on the perimeter.

Marquette was the only Big East team to face a real scare. Western Kentucky, the No. 15 seed, took a 43-36 lead into halftime. The Hilltoppers, led by Tyrone Marshall Jr.'s 21-point effort, were able to avoid mistakes and get red-hot late in the first half. Marquette changed their fortunes after the half, however, slamming the gas pedal and outscoring WKU 51-26 in the second frame. Unfortunately, that also meant the end of NFL star Bijan Robinson's bid for a perfect bracket.

The Golden Eagles really found their stride in the second half and reminded the NCAA populace of what makes them so dangerous. Tyler Kolek zipped around the floor and made every small effort, accumulating 18 points and 11 assists in his return from injury. Kam Jones led the team in scoring with 28 points on 16 shots. The Hilltoppers just couldn't find an answer.

Don't be too shocked if all the Big East teams stick around for a while. But, it's March, so don't count on it either.

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