Six teams had better odds than Providence to win the Big East’s regular-season title coming into the season, but the Friars defied those odds by winning the crown for the first time. Now they wrap up a memorable regular season with a huge road game at Villanova.
UConn and Creighton, fighting it out for third place, will get together for another can’t-miss game this week.
Providence, Villanova and UConn currently hold down top-16 seeds, according to Jerry Palm’s latest bracketology on the CBS Sports site. There could be more anxious times for Marquette, Seton Hall, Creighton and Xavier, who could have the dreaded “bubble team” moniker bestowed upon them.
Game of the Week
Providence Friars vs Villanova Wildcats
- Date, time, TV: Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. ET, FS1
The game loses just a little bit of it luster considering that No. 9 Providence already secured the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Big East tournament, but a matchup against No. 11 Villanova could still be fun to check out.
Villanova won the first meeting 89-84 at Providence, the only home loss for the Friars. Four of the last five games in the series have been decided by five points or less, with four of the last five meetings finishing under the total.
Providence (24-2, 14-2 Big East) won its last three games and covered in its last two. Saturday’s 21-point win over Creighton was a rare laugher for the Friars.
Villanova (21-7, 14-4) saw its five-game winning streak end with a 71-69 loss at UConn. The Wildcats are 1-2-2 against the spread in their last five games while three of the last four went over the total.
Villanova (+375), UConn (+1400) Providence (+1600), Marquette (+2000) and Xavier (+3000) are the Big East teams with the best odds to advance to the Final Four according to the March Madness odds.
Collin Gillespie of Villanova has +8000 odds to be named national player of the year.
The rebounding battle will be interesting considering that Providence is third in the Big East in rebounding margin at +3.2 and Villanova is fifth at 3.1.
Providence will head to Villanova — and into the final week of the regular season — as a top-10 team.
— Bill Koch (@BillKoch25) March 1, 2022
Xavier Musketeers vs St. John’s Red Storm
- Date, time, TV: Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. ET, FS1
Xavier has won the last two games against St. John’s, including a 13-point victory on the road on Feb. 16 as a 6½-point underdog according to the Las Vegas odds. Three of the last four games in the series went over the total.
Xavier (17-11, 7-10) has lost four games in a row to fall into a tie for seventh place in the Big East standings. The Musketeers failed to cover in each of those contests while five of the last six matchups went over the total.
St. John’s (15-13, 7-10) has lost its last two games by a combined total of eight points. Each of the Red Storm’s last four games went over the total.
Xavier is second in the conference in free throws attempted while St. John’s tops the Big East in points per game, assists and steals.
Georgetown Hoyas vs Seton Hall Pirates
- Date, time, TV: Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
Time is running out for Georgetown to avoid a winless run through the Big East for the first time.
Georgetown had won the previous two matchups against Seton Hall before the Pirates’ 70-63 win on Feb. 1 as a seven-point favorite on the road. Six of the last eight games in the series finished under the total.
Seton Hall (18-9, 9-8) has won three games in a row to move up to sixth place in the Big East.
Georgetown (6-22, 0-17) has lost 18 straight games but has covered against the college basketball spreads in three of the last four. Three of the Hoyas’ last four games went under the total.
Georgetown is tied for third in the Big East with 213 3-pointers made, but it could be a challenge to connect from long distance since Seton Hall has the best 3-point percentage defense in the conference.
UConn Huskies vs Creighton Blue Jays
- Date, time, TV: Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. ET, FS1
Remember when the knock on UConn was that the Huskies couldn’t win the close games. Well, UConn is perfect in its last three games decided by five points or less after dropping five games by five points or less earlier in the season, including one to Creighton.
UConn (21-7, 12-5) is just 1-4-1 against the spread in its last six games.
Creighton (18-9, 11-6) didn’t fare too well in its first game since guard Ryan Nembhard suffered a season-ending injury as the Bluejays lost 72-51 at Providence.
Creighton is looking to improve to 5-0 against UConn and sweep the season series after posting a 59-55 win on the road on Feb. 1 as a 10½-point underdog. Something to consider for those who bet online: Each of the last two games in the series finished under the total.
Creighton would move into a tie with UConn for third place in the Big East standings with a win and would hold the tiebreaker based on two wins this season against the Huskies. This game will be key for both teams as they look ahead to the release of the March Madness bracket. UConn has +1400 odds to reach the Final Four while Creighton comes in at +5000.
The Huskies lead the Big East in rebounding margin, but Creighton went rebound for rebound in the first meeting between the teams.
Marquette Golden Eagles vs DePaul Blue Demons
- Date, time, TV: Wednesday, 9 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
Marquette has won two straight matchups with DePaul, including its 87-76 win on Jan. 11 as a 6½-point favorite at home. The teams have split the last four games hosted by DePaul while eight of the last 11 meetings went under the total.
The Golden Eagles are two games in back of third-place Connecticut and one behind Creighton with two games left so there is plenty for which to play.
Things have been a grind for Marquette since a seven-game winning streak that had the Golden Eagles challenging for the top spot in the conference. Marquette (18-10, 10-7) has lost four of its last seven games and is 0-4-1 against the spread in the last five.
DePaul (14-14, 5-13) has won its last two games and covered in its last three while three of the Blue Demons’ last four games went under the total.
Marquette and DePaul combined for 47 3-pointers attempts and only 20 trips to the foul line in the first meeting