Big East Tournament 2011: Georgetown-UConn, And A Day Two Preview

All eyes will be on Georgetown and UConn in the Big East tournament Wednesday, as two of the conference's best teams square off, and the deepest conference tournament in the nation gets more interesting. But Tuesday night, South Florida’s stunning upset of Villanova added a whole new level of intrigue.

Is that upset going to become a trend in the Big East Tournament? If anyone needed a reminder as to how dangerous of a conference this is, they got it.  For lines, matchup stats and trends on all Big East and other conference tournaments, check out SB Nation lines partner Odds Shark.

Without further ado, let's take a look at what's on the schedule in New York City today.


Connecticut Huskies vs. Georgetown Hoyas

In Wednesday’s most intriguing matchup, the No. 21 Connecticut Huskies (22-9) take on the No. 22 Georgetown Hoyas (21-9). Whoever wins this one will not be an easy out for top-seeded Pittsburgh.

Two of the Big East’s most exciting guards will be on display in Connecticut’s Kemba Walker and Georgetown’s Austin Freeman. In their one previous meeting this season, Connecticut won 78-70 in Connecticut.

The Hoyas have been UNDER machines lately for bettors, going 9-2 in their past 11 matches, according to the  searchable college basketball database. They have struggled however against the spread, going just 2-7 against the spread in nine recent games.

St. John’s Red Storm vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

No. 17 St. John’s (20-10) ended the regular season on a nice run, finishing 7-1 down the stretch including a double-digit win over Connecticut and a win over Big East champion Pittsburgh.

To keep their hot streak alive, they’ll have to fend off the Scarlet Knights (15-16), who are coming fresh off of an upset of Seton Hall. St. John’s needed a lay-up with just four seconds left to top Rutgers at home back in February, 58-56.

St. John’s is 14-3 SU in 17 matches against Rutgers and recent battles have rewarded UNDER bettors to the tune of a 6-2 run. [Matchup stats]

South Florida Bulls vs. Cincinnati Bearcats 

Entering the tournament just 3-15 in Big East play (with two wins over DePaul and one over Providence), South Florida (10-22) was supposed to be a pushover for Villanova, but they had another plans.

Will upset lightning strike twice? It’s highly unlikely, with Cincinnati (24-7) entering the tournament on a solid 5-1 run and being the far superior team. But this is college basketball, where you can never say never; especially in March.

And SFU bettors know that, even if their team doesn’t win outright, they are a major threat to turn a profit for bettors. In eight games since 2005, the Bulls are 8-0 against the spread vs. Cincy!

West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Marquette Golden Eagles

With wins over both two-seed Notre Dame and three-seed Louisville this season, West Virginia (20-10) has to believe they can make a run in this bracket. But the Mountaineers can’t get caught looking too far ahead, as they’ve already dropped a game to Marquette (19-13) 79-74 back on New Year’s Day.

Both teams are solid and have each battled inconsistency this year so it may just come down to who brings their A-game.

For bettors, this is a matchup where the favorite almost always wins (5-1 SU) and almost always covers the spread (5-1 against the spread) since 2006. [Matchup Stats]

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