Seton Hall picked to win Big East, edging Villanova

NEW YORK (AP) — Seton Hall edged Villanova atop the Big East preseason conference poll, ending the Wildcats’ five-year run as favorites.

The Pirates return four starters from last season’s NCAA team, including preseason player of the year Myles Powell. He was second in the conference in scoring averaging 23.1 points. Seton Hall received one more vote than the Wildcats on Thursday.

Villanova has won five of the past six regular-season titles and topped Seton Hall by two points in the conference tournament title game in March.

It wasn’t just tight in the predictions for just the top two teams. Only seven points separated third through seventh place.

Xavier was third, with Marquette and Providence tied for fourth. Georgetown, Creighton, Butler, St. John’s and DePaul round out the poll.

Villanova forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl has been tabbed as the conference’s freshman of the year.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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