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Big East Tournament First Round preview for March 10th

We go over all of the action at today’s Big East Tournament, including game times, odds, and more.

David Duke #3 of the Providence Friars celebrates a shot during a college basketball game against the Marquette Golden Eagles on January 27, 2021 at Alumni Hall in Providence, Rhode Island. Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

One of the great traditions of the New York City annual sporting calendar, the Big East Tournament kicks off with the first round Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. ET. live from the World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden in Midtown Manhattan.

None of the top contenders will play on the first day of action, but the tournament has a little more parity now that No. 14 Villanova has lost star point guard Collin Gillespie for the season. The Wildcats have won the last three times this event was played before it was scrubbed in 2020.

Connecticut and No. 17 Creighton will get the most attention in the Big East, but let’s go over the betting odds for some of the other teams competing for a championship.

No. 8 Georgetown vs. No. 9 Marquette: 3:00 p.m. ET, FS1

Point Spread: Marquette -3
Point Total: 144.5

This could be the most difficult matchup to predict a winner for on day one of the tournament. The Hoyas fell to the Golden Eagles at home in January 64-60, but will get a chance at redemption in an elimination game. Both programs have +6000 Big East title odds, but Georgetown has beaten three of the top five teams in the Big East.

The pick: Georgetown +3

No. 7 Xavier vs. No. 10 Butler: 6:00 p.m. ET, FS1

Point Spread: Xavier -6.5
Point Total: 144.5

While Xavier only playing 15 conference games during the regular season helped the Musketeers secure a respectable seed, they seem like the better team in this matchup. The favorite has already topped Butler by double-digits twice this year. Xavier would have to experience a considerable dropoff to lose in round three.

The pick: Xavier -6.5

No. 6 Providence vs. No. 11 DePaul: 9:00 p.m. ET, FS1

Point Spread: Providence -7
Point Total: 133

Providence finished out the regular season on a high note by beating Collin Gillespie-less Villanova. While the Wildcats weren’t at full strength without one of their most important players, DePaul is the worst team in the conference with a 2-13 record against Big East opponents. The Blue Demons played the Friars tough once in a 95-90 2OT loss in December, but I expect something closer to the 57-47 PC win on February 13th. Ed Cooley’s bunch are making nice push at the end of the season.

The pick: DePaul -7

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