2003 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament
|2003 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament|
|Site||Madison Square Garden
New York City
|Champions||Pittsburgh (1st title)|
|Winning coach||Ben Howland (1st title)|
|MVP||Julius Page (Pittsburgh)|
|Top scorers||Carmelo Anthony (Syracuse)
Ben Gordon (Connecticut)
The 2003 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament, a part of the 2002–03 NCAA Division I men's basketball season, took place from March 12 – March 15, 2003 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Its winner will receive the Big East Conference's automatic bid to the 2003 NCAA Tournament. It was a single-elimination tournament with four rounds and the four highest seeds (two from each Big East division) receive byes in the first round. The 6 Big East teams with the best conference records from both the East and West Divisions of the Big East Conference were invited to participate. Boston College, who had an identical 10–6 record as Connecticut, received the #1 seed from the East Division due to a tie breaker. Likewise, Syracuse, who had an identical 13–3 conference record to Pitt, received the #1 seed from West Division due to tiebreakers. Virginia Tech from the East Division and Rutgers from the West Division failed to make the tournament.
Pittsburgh defeated Connecticut, 74–56, in the finals to earn their first Big East Tournament Championship.
|2002–03 Big East men's basketball standings|
|#15 Notre Dame||10||–||6||.625||24||–||10||.706|
|† 2003 Big East Tournament winner
As of March 31, 2003; Rankings from Coaches' Poll
*Did not qualify for 2003 Big East Tournament
March 12, 2003
March 13, 2003
March 14, 2003
March 15, 2003
* denotes an overtime (OT) period
On March 15, Pittsburgh won their first-ever Big East Tournament, defeating Connecticut 74–56. They led by one at half-time, but quickly extended their lead in the second half. Jaron Brown led the Panthers with a career-high 19 points. Brown converted all six of his free throw attempts and was 6-of-9 from the field. He added ten rebounds to notch his fourth career double-double. Julius Page and Brandin Knight finished with 16 points apiece, and Chevon Troutman had 12. Page, a junior, averaged 13.3 points and 3.7 rebounds on 47.1 percent shooting (16-for-37) in the three tournament games. He won the Tournament MVP award. Knight averaged 12.0 points, 5.3 assists, 3.3 steals, and 3.3 rebounds in the tournament.
It was the third straight title game reached for Pittsburgh. Howland and the Panthers lost to Uconn in double overtime in 2002. It tied the largest margin of victory for a Panther team in the Big East Tournament. They also defeated Boston College by eighteen, winning 88–70 on March 8, 2000. The win was Pittsburgh's ninth in a row, tying their season high. They also won nine in a row to begin the season.
Dave Gavitt Trophy (Most Outstanding Player): Julius Page, Pittsburgh
- Brandin Knight, Pittsburgh
- Ben Gordon, Connecticut
- Emeka Okafor, Connecticut
- Craig Smith, Boston College
- Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse