Big East Women's Notes: Can the Big East Get 5 Tourney Teams?

Big East Women's Notes: Can the Big East Get 5 Tourney Teams?

UConn and DePaul are sure things, but who else from the Big East will join them in the NCAA Tournament?

Jan 26, 2021 by Kevin Sully
Big East Women's Notes: Can the Big East Get 5 Tourney Teams?

Each week, the Big East’s representation in the AP Top 25 has remained mostly static. Yes, Connecticut and DePaul have moved up and down a spot here or there, but there has been no major movement from either team and no signals that another conference team can break into the poll. 

But it’s a different story on ESPN’s Bracketology. The broader forecast of 64 teams offers more information about the standing of teams that aren’t in the Top 25, but could still make the NCAA Tournament. 

This week’s edition is particularly optimistic for the Big East, with the potential of five teams from the conference making the NCAA Tournament. UConn (#1) and DePaul (#6) are locks, while Marquette (#10) is in a solid position. 

The ascendant Seton Hall is now listed in the “first four out” column, the result of a five-game winning streak. Villanova is in the “next four out,” which puts them in the 69-72 range. That’s not a bad spot to be for the Wildcats. They still have one game remaining against DePaul, one against Seton Hall, and two with Marquette. All are opportunities for a quality win that can push them into the 64-team field.

Andra Espinoza-Hunter Is Still At It

The Pirates' rise to the tourney bubble can be traced back to the addition of Espinoza-Hunter. After joining the Pirates five games into the season, Espinoza-Hunter has been on an absolute tear. She won her second consecutive Big East Player of the Week honor last week after putting up a career-high 30 points against St. John’s. 

On Sunday, she scored 28 points in a victory over Xavier. In her seven games, she’s shooting 47.6% on three-pointers. 

UConn Beats Tennessee On The Road

The Huskies remained undefeated, but they got their closest game of the year in a 67-61 victory at Tennessee. Christyn Williams scored 20 points for the Huskies and Paige Bueckers hit a big three-pointer in the waning seconds to put the game out of reach.

On Saturday, UConn came back to the Big East and beat Georgetown 72-41. This week, the Huskies venture out of the conference against and head to Arkansas to play the #19 Razorbacks. Sunday, they square off against DePaul in what should be the most challenging Big East game remaining on their schedule

Villanova Returns After Pause

Villanova blew a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter, but prevailed over St. John’s in overtime. Maddy Siegrist had another double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds. It was Villanova’s first game since January 6th. COVID-19 protocols forced the team to postpone four games.