Big East basketball: Semifinal rounds

big east tournament

The Big East basketball conference tournament is one step closer to crowning a champion. On Friday, the No. 8 Georgetown Hoyas and No. 2 Creighton Bluejays won their semifinal games over the No. 5 Seton Hall Pirates and No. 3 UConn Huskies respectively.

Georgetown beat Seton Hall in a 66-58 victory, securing the Hoyas’ first berth to a Big East Tournament final in over a decade.

The Hoyas got off to a quick start, using a 7-0 scoring run to lead by nine points midway through the first half. Seton Hall wouldn’t give up that easily though, using a 13-4 scoring run of its own to cut Georgetown’s lead to just two points going into the break.

For much of the second half, the Pirates stayed within two points of the Hoyas, keeping the pressure on Georgetown’s top shooters.

Seton Hall junior Jared Rhoden, who finished the night with a game-high 22 points, brought the game to a tie at 39, but Georgetown always had an answer.

With just over six minutes left in the game, the Pirates took the lead 53-52. On the next possession, Georgetown senior guard Jarmoko Pickett put the Hoyas back on top. With less than two minutes to play, the game was again tied at 57. Georgetown closed the game on a 9-1 run, including six consecutive free throws to complete the upset and advance to the Big East Tournament finals.

Georgetown became the first team in Big East history to be ranked last in the preseason poll and to finish its season playing in the tournament title game.

Later that evening, Creighton beat UConn 59-56, earning its first tournament championship berth since 2017.

The Bluejays fell behind early as the Huskies ran up the score 13-2, thanks to eight points from UConn freshman forward Adama Sanogo. Creighton answered with a 7-0 run to get back in the game and eventually tied it up at 19 points.

Creighton took the lead 25-24 with just over two minutes left in the first half and added an 8-0 scoring run to help take a 30-26 lead into the break. The second half kicked off with a 6-2 run from the Huskies to tie the game at 32. The Huskies led up until four minutes to play when Bluejay junior guard Marcus Zegarowski scored a bucket to tie the game at 53.

With 30 seconds left, the Bluejays led by one at 57-56 but were able to get to the free throw line to reach a three point lead with 20 seconds left. For the rest of the game, Creighton survived to advance to the tournament final game, the program’s third in the past eight seasons since joining the Big East.

In the regular season, the Georgetown-Creighton series was split between the two teams with Georgetown winning the first game 86-79 on Feb. 3 and Creighton taking the second game, 63-48 on Feb. 9.

This tournament final will be the first time the Bluejays and Hoyas meet in the Big East championship game. Creighton enters the final game with a 20-7 overall record and 14-5 in the Big East; Georgetown enters with a 12-12 overall record and 6-6 Big East record.

The championship game is set to tip off at 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX.