Feb. 7, 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.
The final BIG EAST Tournament before the move to Madison Square Garden was played at the Hartford Civic Center. In its second year as a member of the BIG EAST, Villanova earned the No. 1 seed after winning the regular season with an 11-3 record. Wildcat coach Rollie Massimino was the BIG EAST Coach of the Year.
The league’s heralded freshman class that season included Georgetown’s Patrick Ewing, St. John’s Chris Mullin and Villanova’s Ed Pinckney. They all made the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team. Ewing was also the Freshman of the Year and the Defensive Player of the Year. And it was the suffocating Hoya defense, anchored by Ewing, that gave up an average of only 48.0 points per game for the three rounds of the tourney.
The Hoyas stifled Villanova to capture the championship game 72-54. They had dispatched Providence 62-48 in the quarterfinals and St. John’s 57-42 in the semifinals. With all the defensive prowess, however, it was high-scoring guard Eric “Sleepy” Floyd who won MVP honors. Floyd had 19 points against St. John’s and 17 versus Villanova.
Georgetown would go on to reach the national championship game where they lost to North Carolina 63-62.
Click the links below for previous moments in the 35 Countdown