The Big East looks radically different in 2014, but its ten teams will wind up in the same place the conference has ended every season for the past 31 years: Madison Square Garden. Over nearly three-and-a-half decades, the nation's premier conference tournament has had more than its fair share of memories. BECB will count down the top five moments to get you ready for this year's version.
Honorable Mention: Da'Sean Butler in 2010
March 13, 2010. 7th ranked West Virginia meets #22 Georgetown in the conference title game. The Hoyas are in the finals for the third time in four years. Bob Huggins' Mountaineers are looking for their first conference championship since joining the Big East in all sports in 1995.
West Virginia has won five in a row, its last three by three points or less. Da'Sean Butler's game-winner against Villanova on the last day of the regular season set off a run giving off shades of Gerry McNamara in 2006. Butler repeated the act five nights later to knock off Cincinnati in the quarterfinals at the Garden. Against Notre Dame in the semis, Butler's 24 points were just enough to ensure a 53-51 win. Stage set for more heroics.
Georgetown claws all the way back from a nine-point second-half deficit to seal the game at 56 with just under a minute remaining in the game. After a Butler miss and offensive rebound, the Hoyas' Chris Wright inexplicably fouls Joe Mazzulla 30 feet from the basket. Mazzulla's two free throws put West Virginia on top by two before Wright makes up for his mental error with a gorgeous spin and leaner off the glass.
After a Mountaineer timeout, Da'Sean Butler drives into a crowded lane with six seconds remaining. Blowing by the 6'11" Greg Monroe, Butler makes it halfway to the basket before Austin Freeman shuts him down. Butler elevates with his left side to the hoop and gets the ball in the air, off the back of the rim, and in. Wright would try to top it with a coast-to-coast offbalance attempt, but his shot never had a chance and West Virginia claimed its only Big East Tournament title in 17 years.
Georgetown rode their run through the BET to a three seed in the NCAA Tournament, falling to Ohio in a first-round upset. West Virginia kept winning all the way up to the Final Four, losing to eventual champion Duke 78-57 in Indianapolis.