2002 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament
|Site||Madison Square Garden
New York City
|Champions||Connecticut (5th title)|
|Winning coach||Jim Calhoun (5th title)|
|MVP||Caron Butler Connecticut|
|2002 NIT, 2002 NCAA|
|Big East Men's
|2001–02 Big East men's basketball standings|
|† 2002 Big East Tournament winner
As of April 1, 2002; Rankings from AP Poll
*Did not qualify for 2002 Big East Tournament
The 2002 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Its winner received the Big East Conference's automatic bid to the 2002 NCAA Tournament. It is a single-elimination tournament with four rounds and the two highest seeds in each division received byes in the first round. The six teams with the best conference records in each division were invited to participate for a total of 12 teams. Teams were seeded by division. Connecticut and Pittsburgh had the best regular season conference records and received the East #1 seed and West #1 seed, respectively.
Connecticut defeated Pittsburgh in the championship game 74–65 in double overtime to win their fifth Big East Tournament championship.
|First round||Quarterfinals||Semifinals||Championship Game|
Saturday, March 9
|E1 Connecticut Huskies 74, W1 Pittsburgh Panthers 65 (2OT)|
|Pts: C. Butler 23
Rebs: E. Okafor 10
Asts: T. Brown 5
|Pts: O. Lett 17
Rebs: O. Lett 10
Asts: B. Knight 8
Halftime Score: Pittsburgh, 28-27
After Regulation: 52-52
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
Referees: Jim Burr, Tim Higgins, Mike Kitts
Caron Butler, the tournament MVP, gave Connecticut the lead for good at 66–64 on a turnaround jumper with 1:59 left in the second overtime, and Pittsburgh fell to the Huskies in two overtimes, 74–65. After Ben Gordon was tied up with two seconds left on the shot clock, Taliek Brown put up a desperation heave from about thirty feet away with the shot clock running down to put the Huskies up 69–64, and they never looked back.
Brandin Knight had a chance to win it for Pittsburgh at the end of the first overtime. After slipping and injuring his right knee, just as they tied the game at 52, Knight was clearly in pain. However, with 1.7 seconds left in OT, he checked in to the game and put up a 40-foot 3-point attempt that would have won the game. It bounced off the rim and the game went to double OT.
Butler finished with 23 points for Uconn in the win, while Brown added 13. It was the fifth Big East Tournament championship for the Huskies, their last coming in 1999, when they went on to win the national championship. It was their sixth title game appearance in the last eight years. The game was the second-longest title game in league history. Syracuse beat Villanova 83–80 in three overtimes in 1981.
Dave Gavitt Trophy (Most Valuable Player): Caron Butler, Connecticut
All Tournament Team
- Marcus Barnes, Miami
- Caron Butler, Connecticut
- Ben Gordon, Connecticut
- Brandin Knight, Pittsburgh
- Ontario Lett, Pittsburgh
- Chris Thomas, Notre Dame