The Big East went into the final weekend of the volleyball regular season knowing which four teams would be in the conference tournament: Connecticut, Creighton, DePaul, and Marquette. The order they would be seeded in, however, was still up in the air all the way until Sunday afternoon.
With Creighton’s victory over St. John’s on Sunday, the Bluejays secured a share of the conference’s regular season title with Marquette. That finally settled out the bracket, which now looks a little bit like this:
It’ll be #2 Marquette vs #3 Connecticut in the first of the semifinals on Friday, November 26th, with first serve set for 12:30pm Central time. #1 Creighton will face #4 DePaul in the second match of the day, with that one set for 3pm Central, although that’s up for being pushed late if MU/UConn runs into a fifth set.
Creighton earns the #1 seed even though they tied with Marquette for the league title because the Bluejays swept the Golden Eagles 2-0 in the regular season this year. Both teams ended up with a record of 16-2 in Big East action as Creighton lost on the road to both St. John’s and Connecticut. As you can tell, Marquette swept both UConn and DePaul in their regular season meetings as the Golden Eagles only dropped their matches to Creighton. Connecticut finished the regular season with a record of 21-9 and 13-5 in Big East play to get the #3 seed, while DePaul was one game back at 12-6 in conference and 19-11 overall.
I have to say, I have no idea why Marquette is playing in the first match of the semifinals. With the Golden Eagles as the host institution, wouldn’t it make more sense for the Big East to schedule MU into the second match? That way, Marquette fans slowly filter into the building during the Creighton/DePaul game instead of leaving the building after the MU match is over. You’d think you want to get as many people into the building for as much of both matches as you can pull off, but here we are.
Plus, with the championship match scheduled for 1pm Central time on Saturday, wouldn’t it make sense to give the favorite to win the tournament more time off before the title game the next day? Instead, if the results go according to form, the #2 seed in the tournament will have just a few extra hours of recovery over the #1 seed. It’s not much, but when it involves putting the “home” team into the later match, you’d think it would factor into the conversation relative to getting the biggest crowd you can possibly get.
The two semifinal matches will be streamed on the Big East Digital Network on FloSports. In other words: You have to subscribe to watch. Let me just tell you now: If you are in Milwaukee or Chicago, buying a ticket will be cheaper than subscribing to FloSports just to watch Friday’s matches. Saturday’s title game will start at 1pm Central, and it will be televised on FS2.
2021 Big East Volleyball Tournament Schedule
12:30pm Central: #2 Marquette vs #3 Connecticut, FloSports
3pm Central: #1 Creighton vs #4 DePaul, FloSports
1pm Central: Semifinal #1 winner vs Semifinal #2 winner, FS2