The granddaddy of the conference tournaments begins tonight tonight and we will see the South Florida Bulls take on the Seton Hall Pirates in the first round of the Big East Tournament. The game is scheduled for a 7:00 pm (Eastern) start time and will be televised on ESPN U. Currently the Odds for the game are listed as a PK while the total sits at 115.5.
Analysis: South Florida will attempt to continue its late-season resurgence Tuesday when it meets Seton Hall in the opening round of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden. The 13th-seeded Bulls resided in the conference basement for most of the season, with a 55-47 home victory over Georgetown on Jan. 23 serving as its only league win through 15 games. However, South Florida snapped a 10-game losing streak with consecutive victories over DePaul and Connecticut before falling in overtime at Cincinnati to close out the regular season. Much like last year, Victor Rudd (12.3 points, 7.1 rebounds) is closing out the season with a flurry, averaging 17.4 points and 8.6 rebounds over his last seven games since returning from a groin injury. Over that same stretch, the junior forward has posted three of his team-leading seven double-doubles. In their victories over the Blue Demons and Huskies, the Bulls – who finished last in the conference in field goal percentage (39.5) and 10th in 3-point field goal percentage (31.8) – shot 50 percent from the floor and 46.8 percent beyond the arc. South Florida used 15 different starting lineups during the regular season while Seton Hall was forced to go with 14.
The 12th-seeded Pirates suffered their own misery during the conference schedule, enduring a nine-game slide following a win over South Florida in the teams’ only meeting on Jan. 23. Seton Hall ended its losing streak with a home victory over Villanova on Feb. 25, but closed out the regular season with consecutive losses to match the Bulls’ 3-15 conference record. The Pirates have been ravaged by injuries as Fuquan Edwin (16.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.5 steals) is one of only four players that have played in all 31 games. Despite a constantly changing supporting cast, Edwin ranks seventh in the conference in scoring, 17th in rebounding and second in steals. The Pirates averaged 15.9 turnovers and 20.7 fouls during conference play – both league-high marks – somewhat offsetting their Big East-best 135 3-pointers. In the January meeting, Seton Hall survived a minus-11 turnover margin by shooting 52.5 percent from the field – its best effort in Big East play.After scoring at least 70 points in 11 of its first 15 games, Seton Hall hasn’t reached that mark since.
Pick: I will look to the Over in this one. Neither offense is clicking right now, but the defenses are not that strong, giving both teams a shot at putting points on the board. Seton Hall has allowed 68.6 ppg in their last 5 games, while the Bulls have allowed 63.6 ppg in their last 5. That should be enough to get us over here, plus the fact that with this being a tourney game we may get the FT fest at the end of the game. I look for at least 120 points in this one.
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