Big East Men's Basketball Tournament
|Big East Men's Basketball Tournament|
|Conference Basketball Championship|
The 2008 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament trophy
|Conference||Big East Conference|
|Number of teams||10|
|Current stadium||Madison Square Garden|
|Current location||New York City, New York|
|Current champion||Villanova Wildcats|
|Most championships||Connecticut Huskies, Georgetown Hoyas (7)|
|Madison Square Garden (1983–present)
Hartford Civic Center (1982)
Carrier Dome (1981)
Providence Civic Center (1980)
|New York City, New York (1983–present)
Hartford, Connecticut (1982)
Syracuse, New York (1981)
Providence, Rhode Island (1980)
The Big East Men's Basketball Tournament is the championship tournament of the Big East Conference in men's basketball. The winner receives the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. Since 1983, the tournament has been held in Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York. As such, the tournament is the longest running conference tournament at any one site in all of college basketball.
In 2011, Connecticut, led by Kemba Walker, became the first and only team in the Big East Tournament to ever win five games in five consecutive days to win the championship.
The 2009 tournament featured a six-overtime game in the quarterfinals between the Connecticut Huskies and the Syracuse Orange, in which Syracuse prevailed, 127–117. The game, the second longest in NCAA history, started on the evening of March 12 and ended nearly four hours later in the early morning of March 13.
As part of the deal in which the original Big East split into the "new" Big East and the American Athletic Conference, the "new" Big East retained the rights to the conference tournament even though The American is the legal successor of the old Big East.
In the last four tournaments before the Big East split into two leagues in 2013, all member schools participating in the tournament (16 from 2010 to 2012, and 14 in 2013) were seeded in the tournament based on their conference records. Non-conference games were ignored. Ties were broken using an elaborate set of tiebreaker rules, with the first two tiebreakers being head-to-head record and common record against the next best conference team. The 2014 tournament, the first held after the split, involved all 10 members of the reconfigured Big East, with similar tiebreakers employed as needed. It is expected that all members will continue to play in future tournaments (barring postseason bans due to NCAA rules violations).
Prior to the 2009 tournament, only the top 12 teams in the conference competed. In 2009, the tournament expanded to include all 16 of the conference's teams. The teams seeded #9 through #16 played first-round games, teams seeded #5 through #8 received a bye to the second round, and the top four teams receive a double-bye to the quarter finals. The final pre-split Big East tournament, held in 2013, saw only 14 teams compete—West Virginia left the Big East for the Big 12 Conference after the 2011–12 season, and Connecticut was barred from the tournament due to an NCAA postseason ban for academic reasons. In that tournament, the teams seeded #11 through #14 played in the first round, with byes remaining the same as in the 2010–12 period.
Championships by school
||1980, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1989, 2007|
||1990, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2011|
||1981, 1988, 1992, 2005, 2006|
||1983, 1986, 2000|
||2009, 2012, 2013|
- Italics indicate school is no longer a member of the Big East Conference.
Before the 2013 conference split, the Big East was the only conference to have every tournament game broadcast nationwide on the ESPN family of networks, with every game from the second round forward broadcast on ESPN. 2011 marked the first year the tournament was broadcast in 3D on ESPN 3D.
- Thamel, Pete (March 13, 2009). "Syracuse Left Standing After Marathon Game". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
- "Big East tournament expands to 16 teams". United Press International. November 7, 2007. Archived from the original on 20 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-12.