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Big East Conference Rundown: Providence Sets Pace

After another routine victory, first-place Providence gets a bit of a break while the Big East Conference teams chasing the Friars get back to work.

The Tuesday night game between Marquette and Connecticut could be especially interesting as the Golden Eagles and Huskies try to stay closer to second-place Villanova than the teams chasing them for one of the top four spots in the conference standings.

Big East Conference: Live Stream, Odds, Picks & Predictions 2022

Villanova might be second in the Big East but in the odds to win the national championship, the Wildcats (+2200) top the list of contenders among the Big East teams followed by Marquette (+6600), UConn (+7500), Seton Hall (+7500) and Providence (+8000).

Game of the Week

Marquette Golden Eagles at UConn Huskies

Date, time, TV: Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. ET, FS1

Eight years between games seems to have made all the difference in this series.

Marquette had won four of five games against UConn and covered against the college basketball spreads in each of the victories.

However, conference realignment broke apart more than a few rivalries and leagues. UConn became a founding member of the American Athletic Conference and it wasn’t until the Huskies once again began playing as a member of the Big East that the series with Marquette resumed.

There were three meetings in the 2021 calendar year, all won by UConn including an eight-point win at Marquette on Dec. 21.

The last time Marquette won at UConn came in 2012.

The most recent meeting was the only one between the teams to be determined by fewer than 10 points since Marquette’s 78-70 victory on Jan. 1, 2013.

The 18th-ranked Golden Eagles (16-7, 8-4 in the Big East) have covered in their last nine games and are 8-1 during that stretch. Five straight Marquette games went under the total before a 10-point home win against preseason favorite Villanova last week.

No. 24 Connecticut (15-6, 6-4) had won five games in a row before losses to Creighton and Villanova. The Huskies have failed to cover in three consecutive games. Despite the last two losses, UConn still leads the Big East in scoring margin and field goal percentage defense while Marquette is one of two Big East teams with at least 200 made 3-pointers.

The Golden Eagles and Huskies are looking to keep close to second-place Villanova. Only two games in the loss column separate the teams holding down spots Nos. 3-8.

Here’s a team-by-team breakdown in the Big East with some information and trends to consider for those who bet online.

Butler Bulldogs

Butler hasn’t swept the regular-season series against Creighton since the 2014-15 season. That could change on Tuesday.

Butler won 72-55 at home on Jan. 26 to snap a two-game losing streak to the Bluejays. Each of the last three meetings has been won by at least 17 points and each has all gone over the total.

Butler (11-12, 4-8) has lost its last two games by a total of five points. Seven of the Bulldogs’ last eight games have gone over the total.

The Bulldogs lead the conference in 3-point percentage defense, allowing opponents to shoot 30.7 percent from long distance.

Creighton Bluejays

Creighton topped Butler three times in the last four meetings before the loss earlier this season. The Bluejays won twice in less than a week in 2021 and haven’t lost at home to Butler since 2015. Don’t expect too many fireworks as Creighton and Butler are 10th and 11th in the Big East in scoring offense.

The Bluejays (13-8, 5-5) have dropped three of their last four games and failed to cover against the college basketball spreads in each of the three losses. Their last three games have gone under the total.

DePaul Blue Demons

DePaul has split its last eight meetings with Georgetown heading into Wednesday night’s showdown in Chicago. Each of the last three games in the series has been decided by eight points or less while the last two matchups went under the total.

DePaul (11-10, 2-9) ended a four-game losing streak with a 69-65 win at Xavier despite still playing without Javon Freeman-Liberty, the top scorer in the Big East. Each of the Blue Demons’ last five games has gone under the total.

Georgetown Hoyas

Georgetown hasn’t won back-to-back games against DePaul since taking six straight from 2015-2017.

The Hoyas (6-15, 0-10) have lost 11 games in a row and only four of those were determined by less than 10 points. They have been underdogs in each of those contests. and are 3-7-1 against the spread in those games.

Georgetown allows more points per game (76.8) than any other conference team.

Providence Friars

First-place Providence is coming off a 71-52 win over Georgetown, aided by going 12 of 25 from 3-point range to extend its winning streak to seven. Jared Bynum led the way by making seven of his eight 3-pointers en route to scoring 32 points off the bench.

The 11th-ranked Friars (20-2, 10-1) will have a chance to catch their breath with no games scheduled until welcoming DePaul on Saturday.

Aljami Durham leads the Big East with an average of 35.7 minutes played per game.

St. John’s Red Storm

St. John’s hasn’t had that much success recently against Villanova, but the Red Storm have won two of the last three times when playing host to the Wildcats. That included an 11-point win on Feb. 3, 2021, when the Las Vegas odds listed them as a 9½-point underdog at home.

St. John’s (13-9, 5-6) has won its last two games after dropping six of eight. The Red Storm have covered in four of their last five games while each of the last three contests went over the total.

Posh Alexander and Julian Champagnie are first and second in the Big East in steals per game. Alexander is also second in the conference with 5.2 assists per game.

Seton Hall Pirates

Seton Hall will meet Xavier on Wednesday as the first game of a Big East doubleheader airing on FS1. The teams have split the last six games with the visiting team winning each of the last five.

The Pirates (14-7, 5-6) seemed to lose their way a little bit, losing six times in a stretch of nine games after an impressive start to the season. Seton Hall is coming off back-to-back victories and is one of five teams separated by 1.5 games between the Nos. 4-8 in the tightly bunched Big East standings.

Ike Obiagu is averaging a conference-best 3.6 blocked shots. He has 13 blocked shots over the last three games.

Villanova Wildcats

Just a couple years ago, the games between Villanova and St. John’s could be counted on to come down to the final minutes. That hasn’t been the case recently as each of the last five games have been decided by at least 11 points.

Each of the last seven meetings has finished under the total.

Villanova (17-6, 10-3) has won 10 of its last 12 games, with the only losses coming to Marquette, although the Wildcats have failed to cover in four of their last five contests.

Collin Gillespie leads the Big East in free-throw percentage (90.8) and 3-point percentage (42.4).

Xavier Musketeers

No. 25 Xavier plays at Seton Hall on Wednesday and is looking to win on the Pirates’ home court for the fourth straight time. Each of the last three games at Seton Hall finished under the total.

The Musketeers are coming off a mystifying home loss to DePaul and with an upcoming game at UConn, they’ll need to take care of business against Seton Hall.

Xavier (16-6, 6-5) has only covered once in its last eight games while five of its last six games went under the total.

The Musketeers are second in the conference in rebounding margin.

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