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Potential Big East MVPs
The Big East Tournament has seen it's fair share of heroes carry their teams to the championship, but that was the old conference. The new, realigned Big East can build a history of its own beginning with this week's tournament at Madison Square Garden.
Here's a candidate from each school who could lead his team to the title and join past tournament MVPs such as Kemba Walker (Connecticut) and Gerry McNamara (Syracuse) in Big East history.
Villanova: James Bell
The senior was announced as a first-team all-conference selection on Tuesday. Averaging 14.9 points and 6.0 rebounds for the Wildcats, he's likely to be a driving force behind a championship for the tournament's top seed. (Credit: Getty Images / Mitchell Leff)
Creighton: Doug McDermott
As a finalist for the Wooden Award, this senior is a no-brainer here. His 26.5 ppg leads the nation, and his 7.2 rebounds per contest don't hurt the Bluejays any, either. (Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)
Xavier: Semaj Christon
The sophomore guard, another first-team selection, contributes 17.0 ppg for the Musketeers. He's been playing major minutes throughout his two years at Xavier, the tournament's No. 3 seed. (Credit: Getty Images / Joe Robbins)
Providence: Bryce Cotton
Like McDermott and Christon, the senior was a unanimous choice for first-team all-conference. This Friar ranks second in the Big East with 21.7 ppg and first with 5.9 assits per contest. (Credit: Getty Images / Mitchell Leff)
St. John's: D'Angelo Harrison
If the Red Storm become the surprise Big East champions, it likely means Harrison had a hot hand all week. The junior first-teamer averaged 17.6 ppg, third-best in the Big East. (Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)
Marquette: Davante Gardner
As a senior with the Golden Eagles, Gardner was a second-team all-conference selection. The bulky forward posted 15.1 ppg this season. (Credit: Getty Images / Mitchell Leff)
Georgetown: D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera
Another second-team selection, Smith-Rivera played second fiddle to first-team Hoyas teammate Markel Starks. However, the sophomore is capable of picking up the slack given his 16.8 ppg. (Credit: MCT / CHUCK MYERS)
Seton Hall: Gene Teague
Teague is among the best on the glass in the Big East, ranking fourth with 7.7 per game. Leave the scoring to teammates such as Fuquan Edwin, but the senior center might be the key difference-maker underneath. (Credit: Getty Images / Chris Chambers)
Butler: Kellen Dunham
The second-teamer stepped up in his team's first year in the Big East, raising his scoring average from 9.5 to 16.8 as a sophomore. The Bulldogs are a longshot and will need Dunham more than ever. (Credit: Getty Images / Mitchell Leff)
DePaul: Brandon Young
If Young manages to lead the woeful Blue Demons to the Big East crown, he'll become a legend. He's averaging 21.7 ppg over the past seven games, six of which were losses. (Credit: Getty Images / Jonathan Daniel)