NCAAB Big East Conference Tourney Betting Preview 2024
NCAAB Big East Conference Tourney Betting Preview 2024
Apr 24, 2024 1:10 AM

It’s conference tournament time, precursor to March Madness and in itself of the best weeks of the college basketball season. There will be a number of big games on the docket, with the Big East Conference at Madison Square Garden among the venues.

Any conference which includes the defending national champions can’t be dismissed, and the Connecticut Huskies are primed to make deep runs in both the conference and national tournaments. However, there are always apt to be surprises in the postseason.  

Planting the Seeds

Top five teams in the Big East earned byes in the first round of  the tournament, with the other half-dozen in action right away. There are other leagues with double-byes, but they have more teams involved in those events.

Check out the seeds before making any wagers…

1. UConn Huskies         (18-2 conference, 28-3 overall)

2. Creighton Bluejays         (14-6, 23-8)

3. Marquette Golden Eagles     (14-6, 23-8)

4. Seton Hall Pirates         (13-7, 20-11)

5. St. John’s Red Storm     (11-9, 19-12)

6. Villanova Wildcats         (10-10, 19-12)

7. Providence Friars         (10-10, 17-14)

8. Butler Bulldogs         (9-11, 18-13)

9. Xavier Musketeers         (9-11, 15-16)

10. Georgetown Hoyas     (2-18, 9-22)

11. DePaul Demon Deacons     (0-20, 3-28)

Huskies the Faves

The Connecticut Huskies are currently the choice to win a second consecutive national title. Thus, no surprise that they are overwhelmingly favored to win the Big East as well. UConn is a puny-priced -150, according to Big East tournament odds. UConn hasn’t won this since 2011

UConn, second in the nation’s latest poll, does not have to win this tournament to eam a No. 1 regional seed in the Dance, but it wouldn’t hurt. This team is extremely deep and skilled, with guard Tristen Newton (15 points, 7.1 points, 5.8 assists per game) leading the way. Guard Cam Spencer and forward Alex Karaban both average more than 14 points/game), while Donovan Clingan (12.4 points, 6.9 rebounds/game) remains a contributor.

UConn is among the national leaders in scoring defense and opposition shooting percentage.

Some Other Contenders

There’s a pretty significant gap between the top teams in the conference and the rest of the field, certainly as evidenced by results during the season.

Creighton, ranked eighth nationally, is one of the two entities which disposed of Connecticut in conference play. It’s second choice at 4-1 (+400) to win the Big East tournament. With an offense highly-ranked nationally in both scoring and shooting, do not sleep on the Bluejays. Led by guard Baylor Scheierman (18.5 points 8,8, guard Trey Alexander (17.5 and pivot man Ryan Kalkbrenner (17.1 points/game), they’re a tough “out” when they get hot.

The Marquette Golden Eagles (5-1, [+500]), 10th in the latest poll, have had their moments this season, but they could be without point guard Tyler Kolek (15 points per game, second on team) early in the tourney with an injured oblique. Marquette is the defending conference champ.

The St. John’s Red Storm could be tricky, entering at 9-1 (+900) and with five consecutive wins. Some were against the bottom-feeders of the conference, but a 14-point home victory over Creighton may have made a statement.

If you’re a fan/believer that someone can take down UConn, there’s a reward to be had.

Now, the Rest

The Villanova Wildcats are a certified bubble team when it comes to getting into the field of the NCAA’s, so they need a deep run at the Garden. Villanova is 16-1 (+1600) to win the Big East.

Providence could be worth a small flyer at 65-1 (+6500), but they, as with Villanova, were mediocre in conference play this season. Consistency’s not there.

The bottom four teams aren’t legitimate, complete with bombardier odds…

Xavier Musketeers     100-1 (+10000)

Butler Bulldogs     100-1 (+10000)

Georgetown Hoyas     500-1 (+50000)

DePaul Blue Demon     500-1 (+50000)

(There weren’t any Seton Hall odds as of this writing).

The Big East tournament (old and new) was/is always among the best in the country, with the road this season going through the short-priced Connecticut Huskies. Individual games information is available at college basketball odds.

- Tyrone Black,

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