Friday night brings with it what should be a great pair of semifinal games at the Big East tournament in New York City. Which way are betting these games with our free college basketball picks? Free College Basketball Picks: Big East Tournament Semifinals.
The Musketeers are the top seed for this Big East tournament, conference champs at 15-3 in conference play. They’re also in the running for a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament. Xavier finished the regulars season with a 12-1 run, then reached Friday’s tournament semifinal action by beating St. John’s Thursday night 88-60, easily covering at -7.
The 5th-seeded Friars, meanwhile, went 10-8 in Big East play this season. They started 5-2 in conference but went 5-6 from there. Providence then reached Friday by outlasting 4th-seeded Creighton Thursday 72-68 in overtime.
These teams split two meetings during the regular season. The Friars beat the Musketeers as 5-point home dogs back in January 81-72, while Xavier beat Providence in Cincinnati 10 days ago 84-74, pushing at -10.
Also, that first meeting played under a total of 156 while the second meeting played over 153.
The Musketeers shoot the ball better than the Friars, play better defense and do a better job on the boards. We’ll give the points here.
Free Big East Tournament Pick: Xavier
The 2nd-seeded Wildcats went 14-4 in Big East play this season. They won nine in a row into February, went 3-3 for six games, then won their last two, although they just missed out on the conference championship. Villanova then advanced to Friday’s play by beating Marquette Thursday 94-70, covering at -11.
In typical Wildcats fashion they shot 57 percent from the floor Thursday, 52 percent from 3-point range and 77 percent from the free-throw line.
The 6th-seeded Bulldogs finished .500 in Big East play this season, going 9-9. Butler reached 7-4 in conference but lost five of its last seven games. The Bulldogs then advanced to this game in typical Butler fashioned, edging Seton Hall Thursday night 75-74 on a tip-in bucket at the buzzer.
These teams split two meetings during the regular season. Butler won as a 5-point home dog back in December 101-93, while Villanova won at home in February 86-75, covering at -10. However, that was a four-point game with two minutes to go, before the Wildcats finished with an 11-4 run.
Also, both meetings played over totals of 147 and 157.
The first time these teams met this season they combined for 194 points; the second time, 161. We’re not sure about who’s going to cover the spread, but we’ll take the over.
Free Big East Tournament Pick: Butler-Villanova over