For the third straight year, Villanova has been selected unanimously to capture the Big East regular season crown in a poll of Big East Coaches. The Wildcats received all nine possible first-place votes from the league’s head coaches.
The Wildcats have been the outright regular-season champion in each of the past three seasons, finishing 16-2 in league play each season. Last year, Villanova finished runner-up at the Big East Tournament before winning the NCAA Tournament Title.
Xavier was picked to finish second, followed by Creighton. Seton Hall and Georgetown tied for fourth place. Butler was sixth and Marquette seventh. St. John’s, Providence and DePaul round out the remainder of the field.
The Golden Eagles, with one of the youngest teams in the country, put together a 20-13 overall record and an 8-10 conference mark. Marquette has four starters back this year, led by senior center Luke Fischer (12.1 pts., 6.2 reb. and 60.8% FG). The other starters back are sophomore guard Haanif Cheatham, senior guard Jajuan Johnson and sophomore guard Traci Carter.
Big East Women
Creighton and DePaul tied for first in the women’s preseason poll. The Marquette women were picked to finish third, edging out Villanova.
The Golden Eagles had the youngest team in Division 1 college basketball last season and bring back their entire squad that finished 14-16 overall and 9-9 in Big East play.