Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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No conference feasted more during Thanksgiving week than the Big East. The Big East won four holiday tournaments — with Xavier, Villanova, Marquette and Creighton all taking home championship hardware — and Providence and Georgetown reaching the finals of their respective exempt events.
No conference feasted more during Thanksgiving week than the Big East.
The Big East won four holiday tournaments — with Xavier, Villanova, Marquette and Creighton all taking home championship hardware — and Providence and Georgetown reaching the finals of their respective exempt events.
The league is currently 43-15 overall and ranks No. 2 in conference RPI behind the Big 12, according to CBSSports.com.
Here’s a quick look at how these teams performed during the holiday week:
XAVIER (7-0): The Musketeers beat Alabama and USC in the AdvoCare Invitational before thoroughly manhandling Dayton, 90-61, in Sunday’s championship game in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Six Xavier players scored in double-figures, led by Edmond Sumner’s 14.
Next: Western Kentucky, Saturday
VILLANOVA (6-0): The No. 8 Wildcats beat Stanford and Georgia Tech by double-digits to win NIT Season Tipoff Championship at Barclays Center. Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart each scored 13 points in the final, and Wildcats coach Jay Wright said Brunson has the talent to be one-and-done.
Next: At St. Joe’s, Tuesday
MARQUETTE (4-2): The Golden Eagles got two quality wins over Ben Simmons and then-No. 22 LSU and Arizona State to win the Legends Classic at Barclays Center. Freshman big man Henry Ellenson, the projected No. 8 pick in the NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com, won tournament MVP honors after scoring 14 of his 18 points after halftime as Marquette beat ASU 78-73 in OT in the championship game on Tuesday night.
Next: Grambling State, Wednesday
CREIGHTON (5-1): The Bluejays knocked off Rutgers and UMass to win the Men Who Speak Up Main Event in Las Vegas. Senior center Geoffrey Roselle posted career-highs with 20 points and nine rebounds as Creighton beat previously unbeaten UMass 97-76 in the final. Junior forward Cole Huff was named the MVP of the event after scoring a combined 38 points in the two wins in his return to the state of Nevada
Next: Arizona State, Wednesday
PROVIDENCE (6-1): The Friars stunned No. 11 Arizona in the semifinals of the Wooden Legacy Championship before falling Sunday night to No. 3 Michigan State, 77-64, in a game that was much closer than the final score indicates. Junior Kris Dunn, who had 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds in the final, and sophomore Ben Bentil were named to the 2015 Wooden Legacy All-Tournament Team. Dunn, the projected No. 6 pick in the draft, also earned praise from Chris Paul in an ESPN interview: “Big guard, rebounds really well and you can see that his team feeds off of his energy.”
Next: Hartford, Tuesday
GEORGETOWN (2-3): The Hoyas beat Wisconsin, 71-61, in the semifinals of the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden before falling to No. 5 Duke, 86-84, in a classic. Sophomore forward Isaac Copeland scored a career-high 21 points to lead the Hoyas, while senior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 14 points, six assists and three rebounds. Georgetown looks much stronger than their 2-3 record indicates.
Next: Maryland Eastern Shore, Tuesday
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.