Villanova’s Misfortunes Create Chaos in the Big East

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Villanova’s Misfortunes Create Chaos in the Big East

The Big East Tournament in Madison Square Garden consistently makes for dramatics in an exhilarating conference tournament. After winning three consecutive Big East Tournaments, I would expect a new king atop the Big East as the Villanova Wildcats are reeling.

Villanova point guard Collin Gillispe is done for the season and fellow guard Justin Moore is doubtful for the Big East Tournament. The Cats are limping into March and have turned from predator to prey. With an automatic bid into March Madness hanging in the balance, expect an underdog to capitalize. If you are looking for college basketball picks in conference tournaments, look no further than these two Big East underdogs.

Musketeer Madness

My BetPicks Prediction starts with the Xavier Musketeers. Right on the bubble, Xavier needs a strong Big East tournament to secure a spot in the March. Multiple Covid pauses have hindered the Musketeers as they have gone 2-5 in their last seven games, but a win over Creighton would do wonders for their resume and they have an x-factor to ensure their success. Zach Freemantle’s game will indicate how far the Musks will go.

The Sophomore has taken huge steps forward, but it has been his performance in big games that has been most impressive. In Top 50 quality games, the 6’9 forward is averaging 20.8PPG/9RPG while shooting 58.4% from the field. If Freemantle gets hot, this Xavier team could contend for the Big East crown. I will absolutely be riding Xavier’s spread and ML against Creighton, but be sure to also lock in Xavier -5.5 (-120 at 888) in their first round match-up versus Butler.

Providence’s Cool Cat

Another team to watch on Wednesday is the Providence Friars. Few get as hot in March as Ed Cooley’s squad. From Valentine’s Day onwards Ed Cooley’s squad is 22-11 in Big East play over the past five seasons, the Friars turn it on at the right time consistently. After being seemingly dead in the water, the Friars have gained momentum with late-season wins over UConn, Xavier and Villanova.

If Providence wants to dance in March, they will need to make the Big East Final, which means they will have to go through the likes of UConn and potentially Creighton or Xavier. A gauntlet is ahead of the Friars, but they can get through it if they ride Nate The Great. When Nate Watson scores 20 or more, the Friars are 6-1 SU and 4-2-1 ATS.

The Portsmouth, Virginia native shoots 60.3% from the field while averaging 16.8PPG. Providence has beaten all of their possible opponents en route to the Final and I love this draw for them. It all starts with playing lowly DePaul. Providence should win by double digits, so be sure to pounce on -6.5 (-118 at 888). Cash in on their Big East Tournament NCAAB odds and do not be shocked if these Friars send MSG into a frenzy.

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Josh Saslove here, I am a passionate sports fan and have been consumed by sports for as long as I can remember. I have been a sports bettor for the past 4 years, starting out with betting on college basketball parlays. I currently write pieces for BetPicks, but have my own blog space as well, where you can find my past pieces. I am an avid fan of the Ottawa Senators, Toronto Raptors, Kansas City Chiefs and Toronto Blue Jays, so I know what it's like to cheer for the underdog. The 2017 ECF run by the Ottawa Senators and the Raptors 2019 NBA title are probably my fondest memories as a fan, as well of course the Chiefs Super Bowl win in 2020. I am also a big music fan and have been called Mac Miller by strangers on several occasions.

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