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2016 NCAA Basketball Big East Conference Tournament Preview

Big East Conference Tournament 2016 PicksDates: March 9th – March 12th 2016
Venue: Madison Square Gardens in New York City

The men’s basketball Big East conference tournament starts on Wednesday. The four lowest seeds meet in the first round, with the winners advancing to play the top two seeds.

There isn’t anything on the line for the top seeds, but several teams will be looking to earn an automatic bid.

Odds to win the Big East tournament 2016

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Bet on Seton Hall and Providence to win the Big East

Last year, there were no surprises in the Big East tournament. Villanova was the #1 seed and they dominated most teams on their way to winning the automatic bid. Xavier made it to the final as a #6 seed, but this year they come into the tournament as the #2 seed.

There isn’t much value on Villanova (27-4) or Xavier (26-4) and neither need to win the tournament. Villanova are ranked 3rd in the country, while Xavier are ranked 5th in the country. Both will play in the big dance later this month regardless of how they play in the Big East tournament.

Butler (21-9) is on the bubble and the bookies expect the Bulldogs to perform well in NYC. A good run in the Big East tournament would help Butler’s resume, but they open up on Thursday against Providence in the second round. The Friars are 2-0 against the Bulldogs this season.

Providence (22-9) beat Butler 81-73 on the road and then won 71-68 at home. The Friars won the Big East tournament in 2014 for the first time since 1994 and I can’t believe they’re paying 16/1. They’ll likely have to play Villanova in the SF, but Providence did beat the Wildcats this season.

The Friars aren’t great on paper. Providence averages 74.2 PPG (151st), 37.1 RPG (123rd) and 16.0 APG (33rd), while allowing 69.8 PPG (128th). However, when playing well, Providence grinds out wins. This is a team with three wins against opponents ranked in the top 11 on the AP Poll.

Depth has been an issue for Providence this season and likely will be their Achilles heel in the big dance, but they’ll be confident heading into the conference tourney. Ben Bentil (21.2 PPG) and Kris Dunn (16.3 PPG) provide a lot of the team’s offense and will be relied upon heavily.

Seton Hall (22-8) are on the bottom half of the bracket and open up their tournament on Thursday against Creighton (18-13). The Pirates were embarrassed at home by the Bluejays (82-67) earlier in the season, but they bounced back with a 75-65 win in Omaha to even the season series.

With a win, the Pirates will likely play the Musketeers in the SF, unless the winner of Marquette vs. St. Johns can upset Xavier, which isn’t likely. Seton Hall lost to Xavier (84-76) in the first H2H meeting this season, but they just routed the Musketeers (90-81) at home to end February.

The Pirates have been good defensively (67.1 PPG – 64th) and on the boards (39.8 RPG – 32nd), but they only average 74.4 PPG (147th) on offense and 13.6 APG (155th). This team will go as far as Isaiah Whitewood takes them. He’s averaging 17.9 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 4.9 APG, 1.2 SPG and 1.5 BPG.

Will a lower seed win the Big East conference tournament?

The Big East has several good teams, but the conference as a whole doesn’t have much depth this season. Georgetown (Lost 6 in a Row), St. Johns (Lost 4 in a Row) and DePaul (Lost 3 in a Row) all come into the tournament with extended losing streaks.

Marquette are having a terrible season by their standards and I’d be shocked if they made it to the SF, let alone win the Big East. The Golden Eagles score 75.6 PPG (120th), allow 73.1 PPG (212th) and average just 36.2 RPG (174th). Anything can happen, but I wouldn’t put my money on Marquette.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting.

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