My Bold Prediction

“Michael Porter Jr. with the steal, Missouri is down by 2 he dribbles down the court steps back and he hits the three! Game over! Missouri beats Xavier. My bold prediction for this NCAA tournament is Xavier is going to lose in the round of 32 to Missouri

Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr. just returned in the SEC tournament from an injury he has been suffering with all season. He didn’t play as well as a player he is in their loss to Georgia in the second-round. It takes a little bit to get into basketball shape and speed. You saw it with Bonzie Colson of Notre Dame when he recently came back from an injury as well.

Missouri finished 5th in a very competitive SEC conference this year. This is impressive since they were missing probably the most talented player in the country, Michael Porter Jr. Missouri has been lead by Kassius Robinson and Michael Porter’s, brother Jontay.

Kassius, Michael, and Jontay will have another game before possibly facing Xavier against Florida State. I see them being able to work on their chemistry together at game speed and Michael Porter Jr. to begin feeling like himself again. After winning that game they should be playing Xavier in Nashville, TN. This is good for Missouri because this is Tennessee is SEC country, so people will be cheering for them.

After seeing Xavier lose to Providence in the Big East Tournament, I don’t have a lot of confidence in them. I think everything lines up for this Missouri team and they have one of the biggest upsets of the tournament. Take them spread in this game if this matchup happens, and if you’re feeling crazy take them money-line as well.

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Why Villanova is the Team to Beat

I am usually bias about the Big East, but I am not being bias about Villanova being the team to beat. It would make many teams seasons just to beat this team. As long as Villanova is in the tournament they will never be the underdog in Vegas. Villanova will always be favored, and I expect by a lot until they play a West Virginia team in the sweet-16 or maybe even against they elite-8 opponent, who will most likely be Purdue.

Villanova has in most people’s opinion the best player in the nation Jalen Brunson. Oh yeah, and don’t forget about Mikal Bridges. I mean experts are ranking the best players in the NCAA Tournament and two of the top four are on Villanova. Both of these players are averaging over 18.0 points a game. In addition, they are very good on the defensive side of the floor. Mikal Bridges length is a big reason why he will be a lottery pick in the NBA, and he will protect the rim for the Wildcats this tournament.

Vegas officially has Villanova at 7-2 odds to win the championship this year. “Vegas knows everything” is a thing people like to say, and I don’t think that statement is wrong especially regarding this tournament. The biggest teams standing in their way to get into the championship will most likely be Duke, Purdue, and Kansas.

Villanova is coming off a Big East tournament championship, and they looked very good in this tournament. It was a close last game against Providence, but they ended up winning by ten in overtime. They also have had a bad taste in their mouth since last year’s NCAA Tournament. Villanova lost in the second-round to an 8-seeded Wisconsin team. This was a very big upset, and Villanova isn’t going to let one of those happen to them this year.

Which Big East Team Besides Xavier and Villanova will go the Furthest in the NCAA Tournament

This leaves an 8-seeded Creighton, an 8-seeded Seton Hall, a 10-seeded Providence, and a 10-seeded Butler team. Each of these teams have a very rough road, and there is a very good chance none of them make it past the round of 32. This is because if Creighton or Seton Hall win they will be facing a one-seed most likely. If Providence or Butler make it past the first round they will have to play a two-seed most likely. If I had to choose one of these teams to make it into the sweet-16 and further it would be the Seton Hall Pirates.

I believe that this team has the best chance because in my opinion they have the easiest second-round game. What are you talking about, Seton Hall has to play a one-seeded Kansas in the second-round? I know they do, but I would rather play Kansas over Purdue, Virginia, or North Carolina. My reasoning for this is because of the conference Kansas is in opposed to these other three teams. The Big 12 in no way compares to the Big Ten and the ACC in my opinion. For example, the one Big Ten team Kansas played was a very average Big Ten team Nebraska, and they only beat them by one point 73-72. Kansas also lost to a Washington team, who didn’t even make the tournament.

Creighton is going to have to play the overall number one seed if they beat Kansas State, which is Virginia. Creighton doesn’t match-up well with them mostly because the pace of play. Virginia slows the ball down and Creighton like to play fast. I think Virginia would take over this match-up if it is to happen and control the tempo. Butler in no way can play with Purdue. They don’t have a big man to guard Isaac Haas, and I don’t think they have anyone who can guard both Carson and Vince Edwards. Lastly, Providence would face North Carolina in the second-round. North Carolina just won the ACC Tournament. This is a big deal, and their stars Luke Maye and Joel Barry II are a force to be reckoned with.

So, hypothetically if these four teams make it into the second round Seton Hall has the best chance of advancing into the sweet-16. I can promise you too if the spread is over seven points if Seton Hall plays Kansas that Seton Hall will cover that spread. Seton Hall does have a tough NC State team in the first-round, but if they get past that they can hang with the Kansas Jayhawks and even beat them. There isn’t another team besides Seton Hall, Xavier, or Villanova in the Big East I see having a chance making it past the round of 32, and this isn’t because Seton Hall is more talented it is because they have in my opinion the easiest opponent in the second-round out of themselves, Providence, Butler, and Creighton.

Breaking News

The Big East has decided to extend their commissioner’s contract through 2021. Here are my thoughts and what this might mean.

Which Big East Teams to Take in the First Round and Which not to.

The NCAA Tournament tips off for the Big East Conference on Thursday at 4:30 ET on TBS. This first game will between Seton Hall and NC State. I am going to go through game with a Big East team playing besides Villanova and Xavier because their opponent isn’t decided yet.

8) Seton Hall (21-11) (16-16 ATS) vs.  9) NC State (21-11) (13-12 ATS)

Seton Hall (-2)

As all 8 vs. 9 games are this is going to be a close one. Overall, 8 seeds are 67-65 against 9 seeds since 1985. NC State has been better lately finishing the season winning 5 of their last six, but they had a very bad loss in the first round of the ACC Tournament against Boston College. They are 4-4 against top 25 opponents. Seton Hall on the other hand didn’t finish the regular season strong. They finished 6-6 in their last 12 games. Seton Hall is known for their size in the paint and rebounding with Angel Delgado. On the other hand, NC State is known for their guard play anchored by senior guard Allerick Freeman. After seeing how NC State finished the season and how strong their guard play is I think they are going to cover this 2-point spread. I don’t think Seton Hall has the guard play to keep up with guys like Allerick Freeman and Torin Dorn.

My Pick- NC State (+2)

7) Texas A&M (20-12) (13-16 ATS) vs 10) Providence (21-13) (14-18 ATS)

Texas A&M (-3.5)

Another very even match-up here between the Providence Friars and the Texas A&M Aggies. Both teams finished the regular season and conference tournaments off fairly well with a 7-5 record. Providence beat the number one seed Xavier in the semifinals of the Big East tournament and then took Villanova into overtime and lost. Texas A&M lost in the first round to a talented and hot Alabama team. This isn’t going to be a three-point shooting contest Friday. Both teams like to drive to the hoop. I see this being a low scoring hard fought game in which Texas A&M will win by a point or two. Texas A&M’s big men Robert Williams and Tyler Davis will lead them in a close one here. These two have been averaging about 25 points per game and 18 rebounds per game when combining their stats. Providence likes to spread out their scoring, but their highest scorer averages only 14 points a game. This is why I don’t think they will have enough scoring power to defeat the Aggies, but they will keep it close and cover the spread.

My Pick- Providence (+3.5)

7) Arkansas (23-11) (17-16-1 ATS) vs 10) Butler (20-13) (15-17 ATS)

Butler (-1.5)

Very very suprised on the line here. I definitely think the Arkansas Razorbacks should be favored here. Arkansas is coming off a very big win over Florida in the SEC tournament. Both teams ended up losing to very talented teams by double digits in their semifinal games in their respected conference tournaments. This is why I see this one being a close one as well. Arkansas is lead by Jaylen Barford (18.0 ppg) and Daryl Macon (16.9 ppg). These two senior guards are going to be tough match-ups for Butler. I see these two outshining Butler’s Kelan Martin and Kamar Baldwin. Take Arkansas especially if they are the underdogs.

My Pick- Arkansas (+1.5)

8) Creighton (21-11) (14-16 ATS) vs 9) Kansas State (22-11) (14-16 ATS)

Creighton (-1)

This is going to be my game to watch in the first round. It also is the game I am most confident in. I have been big on Marcus Foster and the Creighton Blue Jays ever since I have seen them play in person at DePaul. Creighton lost their center Martin Krampelj earlier in the season, but they have been able to deal with it pretty well. Kansas State has also been dealing with injuries to their two leading scorers Dean Wade and Barry Brown. Kansas State coach Bruce Weber is more worried about Dean Wade’s (foot) availability this Friday against Creighton. If he is unable to play then I think this game is even more of a lock for the Creighton Blue Jays. Creighton is 8-7 all-time against Kansas State. Make that 9-7 after Friday night.

My Pick- Creighton (-1)

Which Big East Team Got Screwed on Selection Sunday

Probably not the team you would expect me to be writing about getting screwed because they are a number one seed, but the team I believe got screwed most in the Big East was the Xavier Musketeers. Why were they screwed? They were screwed because look at how strong their West bracket is.

I am not worried about their first round game against either NC Central or Texas Southern, but after this game I am VERY worried for the Musketeers. I mean look at who they have to play in the second round. It will most likely be a solid Missouri team who just got one of the best players in the nation back from injury, Michael Porter Jr. Where will this game be played? It will be played in Nashville, which will definitely draw a lot more Missouri fans than Xavier fans. These two factors look like there could be an early upset there in Nashville.

Let’s say they are able to make it past Missouri. Who will they have to play after that? Xavier will have to play a dominant Gonzaga team most likely, who a lot of people are saying may win the whole thing. If they are able to get through the Zags they will have to play debatably the hottest team in the country, the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan is coming off a win in the Big Ten championship and has had a lot of time off to get ready for their run.

All of these teams: Missouri, Gonzaga, Michigan or North Carolina, just to get to the Final Four. This is why I don’t think Xavier is too happy with their draw this year. The West region in my opinion is no doubt the hardest and most talented region. Xavier didn’t get a good draw, and that is why I don’t see them going far in the NCAA Tournament this year. I see them losing to Gonzaga in the Sweet 16. Take the Zags in the Sweet 16 if these two teams end up matching up against each other.

The Bracket is Out

March Madness is finally here, and it is starting this Tuesday night. The brackets are out. It is going to be another fun March for college basketball fans. Out of the 10 Big East teams six of them made the cut after the finish of the Big East tournament in New York. The biggest suprise for me and many others was the Providence Friars. They made it into the Big East championship after knocking off the number 1 seed the Xavier Musketeers. Then, they took the number two seed Villanova into overtime in the championship.

The six teams that were able to make it were: Villanova (1-seed), Xavier (1-seed), Creighton (8-seed), Seton Hall (8-seed), Providence (10-seed), and Butler (10-seed). The Marquette Golden Eagles were unable to make the cut due to their poor performance in the Big East tournament. Out of the teams in the field I think Butler has the biggest chance to be a force to be reckoned with. They are hot right now, and just beat a number one seed (Xavier) and took another number one seed (Villanova) into overtime.

Overall, I think after seeing these seedings of the Big East teams I think it shows the tournament committee really respects the Big East conference. They received two number one seeds, which is very rare from a single conference. This is going to be another fun March for us. I will be posting a podcast in the next couple hours about each Big East team and their opponents.

The best team in the Nation?!

 

Villanova, the number two seed is playing the number five seed tonight for the Big East tournament championship. I think Villanova is the best team in the nation. https://twitter.com/BEt_Hoops/status/972619671492071424 . The Wildcats look ready here.

Can the Wildcats be stopped?!?

The Villanova Wildcats started off strong being up 11-2.

Villanova started off strong, but Providence made a heavy push in the first half. Right when you thought Providence had a chance, Villanova took over. With eight minutes left in the first half it was 21-11. https://twitter.com/PCFriarsmbb/status/972626480835579909

It is a very low scoring game so far in the Big East championship. https://twitter.com/PCFriarsmbb/status/972628690512171008 . It ended up being 31-27 at halftime Villanova leading. A little bit closer in the first half than I thought. I think Villanova is a great team, but Providence is much better than I thought. https://twitter.com/NovaMBB/status/972634459303366656

Here are some highlights from Villanova basketball.

The second half has begun here in New York. The Villanova Wildcats came out strong in the beginning of the second half. https://twitter.com/PCFriarsmbb/status/972638111103639552  The Wildcats are trying to make their case as the overall number one seed. I don’t think the Friars are done yet. https://twitter.com/BIGEASTMBB/status/972637045599363072 .

Myles Bridges of Villanova wants the ring himself. https://youtu.be/I0mRoGyUP8w.

He took a dunk here and put Villanova up 12 points. Everyone thinks the game is over, but it is not. The score is now 51-46. https://twitter.com/PCFriarsmbb/status/972643162236833792 .

 

Are the Friars going to come back?

 

 

Myles Bridges says no. Not a great showing from Jalen Brunson in the final minutes missing a free throw. The game is currently tied at 58.

 

Now the Friars have the momentum and the lead. Score it 60-60 with .30 left. This is for the ball game. It is going into overtime.

Villanova starts with an three to begin overtime. 68-64 Villanova leads. 70-66 looks like Villanova won the Big East Championship and secured a number one seed.

Final score 76-66 Villanova wins the Big East tournament.