Big East Outlook for March Madness
The Big East isn’t the powerhouse it was a decade ago, but it’s still a league that sends multiple teams to the NCAA Tournament every year. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the Big East teams that are poised to make a little noise this March.
Jay Wright’s team suffered a horrible loss on Wednesday when senior point guard Collin Gillespie to a season-ending knee injury. Gillespie was second on the team with 14 points per game while also averaging 4.6 assists per game. He played a supporting role on the 2018 Villanova team that won the national championship and brought more to the table than just impressive numbers.
Alas, the Wildcats will play on, especially after they were able to beat Creighton despite Gillespie playing just 13 minutes. Wright will simply recalibrate with sophomore Justin Moore taking over more of the ball-handling duties. Moore was huge in the win over Creighton and Villanova still has the services of leading scorer Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, who scores 15.4 points per game. It won’t be easy without Gillespie, but the Wildcats still have a strong seven-man rotation and four players who average at least 10 points per game, so don’t count out Villanova from making a Sweet 16 run just yet.
Year after year you can predict the college basketball experts will all back Villanova late into March, but with recent injury issues the Wildcats may be a big target for a March Madness sleeper to knock them out.
It’ll be hard for the Bluejays to ignore the controversy surrounding head coach Greg McDermott, who is currently suspended for making inappropriate comments. Despite their coach being away from the team and the Bluejays losing a couple of road games late in the regular season, Creighton is still a team with Sweet 16 potential.
Marcus Zegarowski is one of the most overlooked point guards in the country, scoring 14.7 points per game while dishing out 4.6 assists. At times, Zegarowski makes it look easy because he’s surrounded by quality shooters, most notably Denzel Mahoney and Mitch Ballock. Those three form one of the best backcourt trios in the country, as all three can make perimeter shots and all three share the basketball. Creighton also features two talented wing players in Damien Jefferson and Christian Bishop, as well as seven-foot freshman Ryan Kalkbrenner, who figures to be an X-factor for the Bluejays in March. With a deep and balanced offense and exceptional point guard play, Creighton has many of the qualities of a team that could make a surprising run to the Sweet 16 and beyond.
BetQL’s college basketball public betting data shows that fans have loved the Blue Jays this year as an under the radar Big East team. Although they don’t get as much praise as they should this March may be a coming out party for the Blue Jays.
A year ago, the Pirates would have been something special to watch with Myles Powell leading the way. Unfortunately, Kevin Willard’s team is fighting just to get into the Big Dance this season. A slump late in the season could cost Seton Hall a spot in the field of 68 if the Pirates can right the ship and notch a couple of wins at the Big East Tournament.
However, if the Pirates can eke out an invitation to the NCAA Tournament, they figure to be one of the most intriguing double-digit seeds in the tournament. The player to watch is Sandro Mamukelashvili. The 6’11’’ senior is a skilled big man who does everything for the Pirates. Despite Seton Hall’s struggles down the stretch, he’s recorded three double-doubles since mid-February and is also second on the team in assists. The supporting cast around him is solid if unspectacular. But the Pirates have some capable shooters, and with a star like Mamukelashvili, they are a candidate to pull off a first-round upset.
If you are betting on March Madness this year make sure to check out BetQL before all the action tips off. BetQL has data and picks for every game and every bet type this March. If you like to bet against the spread, looking for over under picks today, or want to see the most updated moneyline odds, BetQL has your back.