Capsule Looks At The Conference Teams
In predicted order of finish:

Pittsburgh

Last season: 25-9, 13-5 Big East. Lost to Xavier in the second round of the NCAA Tournament

Coach: Jamie Dixon, eighth season, 188-54

Top players: Junior guard Ashton Gibbs, senior guard Brad Wanamaker, senior center Gary McGhee.

The skinny: Experienced and well-balanced, athletic and tough. The Panthers return their starting backcourt of Gibbs and Wanamaker and will be anchored inside by McGhee. Should be one of the best defensive teams in the nation, which is becoming a trend.

Villanova

Last season: 25-8, 13-5 Big East. Lost to St. Mary's in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Coach: Jay Wright, 17th season, 10th at Villanova, 325-184 overall.

Top players: Senior guard Corey Fisher, senior guard Corey Stokes, senior forward Antonio Pena.

The skinny: The Wildcats lost Scottie Reynolds, but are extremely deep. Emerging players in sophomore center Mouphtaou Yorou and sophomore guard Maalik Wayns will support the Coreys and Pena.

Georgetown

Last season: 23-11, 10-8 Big East. Lost to Ohio in the first round of the NCAA Tournament

Coach: John Thompson III, 11th season, seventh at Georgetown, 207-104 overall

Top players: Senior guard Austin Freeman, senior guard Chris Wright, junior guard Jason Clark

The skinny: The Hoyas lost center Greg Monroe to the NBA but return four starters. Freeman is the conference's preseason player of the year. The Hoyas are loaded in the backcourt.

Syracuse

Last season: 30-5, 15-3 Big East. Lost to Butler in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Coach: Jim Boeheim, 35th season, 829-293.