Will one of the three ranked teams claim the Big East Tournament title? Or will a lower seed do like Georgetown did last season and earn the automatic NCAA Tournament berth?
Ninth-ranked Providence, No. 11 Villanova and No. 18 UConn highlight the 11-team Big East Tournament, which begins Wednesday at New York's Madison Square Garden.
For more, from gambling-friendly schedules featuring live, updating odds to expert analysis and the day's most-bet games, check out the college basketball section on the FOX Sports App and FOXSports.com!
BIG EAST TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Madison Square Garden, all times ET
Game 1: No. 9 Butler (13-18) vs. No. 8 Xavier (18-12), 4:30 p.m.
Game 2: No. 10 DePaul (15-15) vs. No. 7 St. John’s (16-14), 7 p.m.
Game 3: No. 11 Georgetown (6-24) vs. No. 6 Seton Hall (20-9), 9:30 p.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. No. 1 Providence (24-4), 12 p.m.
Game 5: No. 5 Marquette (19-11) vs. No. 4 Creighton (20-10), 2:30 p.m.
Game 6: Winner Game 2 vs. No. 2 Villanova (23-7), 7 p.m.
Game 7: Winner Game 3 vs. No. 3 UConn (22-8), 9:30 p.m.
Game 8: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5, 6:30 p.m.
Game 9: Winner of Game 6 vs. Winner of Game 7, 9 p.m.
Game 10: Winner of Game 8 vs. Winner of Game 9, 6:30 p.m.
Jason McIntyre, FOX Sports betting analyst, and Martin Pascual, FOX Bet trading operations specialist, both tabbed Villanova and UConn as the best teams in the Big East. But, unfortunately, both teams are slotted on the same side of the tournament draw.
McIntrye said his instincts tell him to take a look at the team from Rhode Island.
"The metrics say Villanova and UConn are the teams you want to bet on to win the Big East tournament as Providence isn’t Top 25 in offensive or defensive efficiency," McIntyre said. "But the way the bracket shakes out, it’d be smarter to back Providence. They have the easier route to the title game, as Marquette limps in having lost four of seven and Creighton has lost two of three.
"Yes, Providence has lost twice to Villanova by a combined seven points, but the Friars have a better chance to get to that third meeting than the Wildcats do as Villanova won two close meetings with the Pirates and lost its most recent meeting with the Huskies."
Pascual, on the other hand, likes Jay Wright's experienced Wildcats. Villanova has won the NCAA Tournament three times, including in 2016 and 2018 under Wright.
Guards Collin Gillespie (16.3 points per game) and Justin Moore (15.3 PPG) lead the Wildcats in scoring.
"You can’t count out the experience of the Wildcats, so I am giving them a slight edge," the oddsmaker said. "Collin Gillespie’s solid play and experience playing in these big games is the biggest X-factor."
Looking for a sleeper? Pascual said Xavier, despite an 8-12 conference record, could be the surprise of the Big East Tournament. Georgetown was the No. 8 seed last season but won four games to earn the automatic NCAA berth.
"I wouldn’t discount Xavier to make a deep run. They’ve beaten Creighton already twice this year, and they have beaten Connecticut as well," Pascual explained. "They were also very competitive in their two games against the top-seeded Friars (losing twice to Providence by a combined 10 points).
"Who can forget about their triple OT thriller loss to the Friars a few weeks ago (99-92 on Feb. 23)? This makes me believe they’ve got a shot. They just need to play perfect basketball for four straight days. Georgetown was able to do it last year, so why can’t they?"
ODDS TO WIN BIG EAST TOURNAMENT (via FOX Bet)*
Villanova +150 (bet $10 to win $25)
UConn +333 (bet $10 to win $43.30)
Providence +425 (bet $10 to win $52.50)
Marquette +700 (bet $10 to win $80)
Creighton +1000 (bet $10 to win $110)
Xavier +1700 (bet $10 to win $180)
St. John's +2200 (bet $10 to win $230)
Butler +4000 (bet $10 to win $410)
DePaul +8000 (bet $10 to win $810)
Georgetown +20000 (bet $10 to win $2,010)
Seton Hall N/A
*Odds as of 3/7/2022
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