Marquette's Howard earns Big East POY honors

Marquette's Howard earns Big East POY honors

Despite upheaval, Villanova somehow Big East Tournament favorites again

Head coach Jay Wright of the Villanova Wildcats cuts.

The 5-foot-11 Howard was averaging 25 points per game entering the Big East tournament, which began Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He ranked second in the league in free throw shooting, making 90.2 percent. Jerel McNeal now holds the record with 1,985 points.

Howard joins elite Marquette company, joining Jae Crowder as the only other Marquette men's basketball player to win the award. I know this sounds unusual but I really mean it: All 10 teams have a legitimate shot to win the Big East Tournament this year.

Akinjo has been the spark at point guard that has fueled Georgetown's rise.

The Plain Dealer's Elton Alexander and MAC Associate Commissioner Ricky Stokes discuss the possibilities of five Big East team advancing to the NCAA Tournament. In league games, he performed even better with a 6.0 assist average. Akinjo is the first BIG EAST Freshman of the Year since Greg Monroe in 2008-09. While the Wildcats are the co-favorites to win this week's tourney along with Marquette, it's important to remember that Villanova hasn't won a non-home game since late January (an 86-74 win at DePaul). Wright, who owns a 444-174 record at Villanova, is the school's all-time victories leader and has won two NCAA titles.

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