35 Countdown: 1980


Feb. 5, 2014

From Feb. 5 through March 11, BIGEAST.com will count down some of the memorable moments of the BIG EAST Men's Basketball Tournament since its inception in 1980. From March 12-15, Madison Square Garden will host the 35th edition of the tournament.

Georgetown wins the first BIG EAST Tournament, defeating Syracuse 87-81 in the final. The tourney was played at the Providence Civic Center. The BIG EAST was founded by Dave Gavitt, who was the athletic director at Providence, so the site of the first postseason tournament was not surprising.

Syracuse, the top seed, had a bye into the semifinals because the league had only seven teams in its first season of competition. Syracuse, Georgetown and St. John’s had tied for the regular-season title with 5-1 records. Georgetown beat St. John’s 76-66 in the semifinals. Syracuse knocked off Connecticut 92-61.

Georgetown guard John Duren was named MVP. Backcourt partner Eric “Sleepy” Floyd made the All-Tournament Team. He would go on to enjoy a long NBA career. It was the first of many BIG EAST Tournament meetings between Georgetown’s John Thompson and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim.