Tuesday Night in CBB we will see the Villanova Wildcats take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the first round of the Big East Tournament. The game is scheduled for an 9:00 pm tipoff and will be televised live on ESPNU. Currently Villanova is favored by 2 points with the total being set at 136 for the game.The 14th-seeded Villanova Wildcats will try to keep their season alive another day as they square off with the 11th-seeded Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the first round of the 2012 Big East Conference Tournament at Madison Square Garden.
Free Analysis: Villanova and Rutgers are meeting for the second time in less than a week. The 14th-seeded Wildcats posted a 77-71 road win over the 11th-seeded Scarlet Knights last Thursday, their lone victory in their last six games and second in the last 10. Coach Jay Wright turned Villanova into one of the top programs in the nation since taking over and has led it to the NCAA Tournament the past seven years. That streak appears to be over unless the Wildcats piece together a miracle run in this tourney, as they enter with a 12-18 overall record and a 5-13 mark in league action. The Wildcats haven't had much trouble scoring, averaging a healthy 71.6 points, but they have given up an average of 71.8 points at the other end while also ranking 15th in the league in turnover margin (minus-2.6). Villanova has generated a good chunk of its offense at the foul line, where it leads the Big East by a wide margin at 75.8 percent to make up for a league-worst field goal percentage of 41.3. Freshman JayVaughn Pinkston gives VU a bright future and will play a factor in this one. The forward averaged 12.6 ppg in league action and posted 18 points versus the Scarlet Knights in their matchup on March 1. Dominic Cheek will certainly get into the mix as well as he has chipped in 13.2 ppg this season.Junior G Maalik Wayns (17.5 ppg, 4.6 apg, 89.3% FT) has recovered fully after missing three games with injury in February, scoring 26 points in the regular-season finale against Cincinnati. The Cats cone in 6-11-1 ATS vs the Big East, but just 1-8-1 in their last 10 conference games and just 5-10-1 ATS away from home overall. Tey have played some high scoring games though as they OVER is 20-7 in their games this year. Rutgers might be an ideal opponent for Villanova, as it struggles on the offensive end to produce. The Scarlet Knights come into the post-season average a second to last in the Big East 66.0 ppg. Coach Mike Rice was able to build some momentum entering the conference tourney as his squad downed St. John's, 61-58, in their regular season finale on Saturday. The victory made the Scarlet Knights 14-17 overall and 6-12 in league action, which kept them one game ahead of Villanova and Pitt in the standings. Despite the win over the Red Storm, Rutgers continued to struggle offensively as it was held under 40 percent shooting for the second straight game, while going just 10-of-39 from distance during that span. Rookie G Eli Carter is the lone Rutgers player scoring in double figures at 13.5 ppg, while freshman G Myles Mack and sophomore PF Gilvydas Biruta add 9.9 ppg each, while Freshman guard Jerome Seagears is averaging 11.5 points and 4.3 assists over the last four games. Rugers has gone just 9-16 ATS overall and just 2-9 ATS in their last 11 Conference games, after starting the Big East season with a 6-3 ATS mark. The winner of tonight's bout will advance to the second round to battle the sixth-seeded South Florida Bulls on Wednesday night. This will be the second meeting between Rutgers and Villanova in six days as they recently butted heads on March 1. Villanova won that game 77-71 and they own a comfortable 27-9 advantage in the all-time series, including an 87-55 rout in the lone previous Big East Tournament meeting six years ago.
Free Pick: Gonna look to the Over in this one. The last meeting, 6 days ago, the teams put up 148 points and and I expect we could see a game in the mid 140's in this one as well. Rutgers has really struggled at the defensive end of late as they have allowed 72.1 ppg in their last 9 games and Villanova can take advantage as they have averaged 71.6 ppg overall and 68.5 ppg on neutral floors. Rutgers has not been that strong on offense this year, but they have been better of late (67.6 ppg in their last 5 games0 and they should nbe able to continue putting up number like that vs a Villanova team that has allowed 71.8 ppg and 73.2 ppg in their last 10 games. Villanova was able to speed Rutgers up in the last game and I see them doing it again here. Rutgers can score on this team, but will also give up plenty vs a good Wildcat offense.
Betting Strategies: College Basketball Conference Tournament
Host Marco D'Angelo and Pregame's own Johnny Detroit talk about how important the college basketball conference tournaments are for some teams and also discuss: Conference tournaments are purest handicap of the season and other various handicapping angles.