Originally Published: March 14, 2014

Daily Word: New Big East favorite?

By ESPN.com


Every weekday, Andy Katz leads a panel of our college hoops experts in a discussion of the biggest issues, trends and themes happening in and around college basketball.

1. Now that top-seeded Villanova is done, who's your pick to win the Big East tournament?

Andy Katz: Is there a choice? Creighton and Doug McDermott are clicking at a higher clip than any remaining Big East team. This is McDermott's stage. The other three teams are there for window dressing.

Dana O'Neil: Clearly Creighton. McDermott brought his player of the year show to New York against Providence and it was pretty special. I suspect it's just the warm-up act

Myron Medcalf: Has to be Creighton. Losing Nova makes the Big East tourney lose a chunk of its appeal. But it also makes the path to the championship even easier for the Bluejays.

2. Which bubble team can cement its tournament status on Friday?

Katz: Colorado. The Buffaloes can eliminate any questions with a win over Arizona. I still think Colorado will be fine, but if there was a question, it can be squelched with a win over the Wildcats.

O'Neil: Minnesota. The Gophers might (should) be in already after beating Penn State, but if there are any lingering doubters, beating Wisconsin should eliminate them.

Medcalf: Probably Minnesota. The Gophers might be in the field now with their top-five strength of schedule. But a victory over Wisconsin would leave little doubt about their status as Selection Sunday approaches.

3. Syracuse and Kentucky -- two teams that ended the season on shaky terms -- take the floor on Friday. Which do you have more faith in?

Katz: Syracuse. If Jerami Grant is healthy, the Orange can still make a play for the Final Four. Kentucky could make a run in the SEC tournament, but that is the only final of a tournament the Wildcats will appear in this postseason.

O'Neil: Syracuse. As bad as the Orange have been offensively,they still have their defense to fall back on. The zone is always an equalizer for Syracuse and gives this team a leg up as it tries to gather itself offensively.

Medcalf: Certainly Syracuse. The Orange have stumbled, but prior to this, they'd also experienced a very successful stretch. Kentucky has one win over Louisville and little else to brag about.

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