Big East Quarterfinal Betting: Cincinnati Battles Georgetown at MSG

2012 Big East Conference Tournament
Thursday, 3/8/12, 2:00 p.m. Eastern, TV: ESPN
#4 Cincinnati Bearcats (22-9, 12-6 Big East) vs. #5 Georgetown Hoyas (23-7, 13-6)
Madison Square Garden – New York, New York
Opening Line: Georgetown -2.5
Current Line:
Georgetown -3
Opening Total: 121
Current Total: 121
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Cincinnati Georgetown Big East Tournament Betting Preview
Yancy Gates and the Bearcats will be playing on a neutral court for the first time this season on Thursday.

The fourth-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats will be playing their first neutral court game of the season in the quarterfinals of the Big East Conference tournament on Thursday and need to get used to the feeling fast since they figure to be invited to the NCAA tournament this Sunday.  The Bearcats (22-9, 12-6 Big East) will get a good test in preparation for the Big Dance when they meet the fifth-seeded and 13th-ranked Georgetown Hoyas (23-7, 13-6) at Madison Square Garden.

Cincinnati went 7-5 on the road during the regular season, including a 68-64 victory at Georgetown (-3, O/U 121) on January 9 for the team’s third straight win in the series.  In fact, the Bearcats have won five of the last six meetings with the Hoyas both straight-up and against the spread, and the total has also gone UNDER in five of those games.

Cincy finished the regular season strong as well, winning five of six along with seven of nine.  The Bearcats did have the luxury of playing four of their final six games at home, and they have covered the spread in their past four overall, including victories against No. 7 seed Louisville and No. 2 Marquette.  The total has gone UNDER in four of their last five.

Georgetown played well down the stretch of the regular season too and carried that over to the second round of the Big East tournament on Wednesday.  The Hoyas knocked out No. 13 Pittsburgh 64-52, jumping out to an eight-point halftime lead and cruising to easily cover as 5.5-point favorites.  They held the Panthers to 37 percent shooting from the field and outrebounded them by a 33-22 margin while also making twice as many free throws (22 of 31).

Henry Sims and Otto Porter each scored 20 points to lead Georgetown and help the team overcome the poor performances from fellow starters Jason Clark and Hollis Thompson, who combined for 10 points on 1 of 10 shooting.  However, Clark and Thompson made their offensive contributions at the charity stripe, where they converted 8 of 10 free-throw attempts.

The Hoyas are 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS on neutral courts this season, with the only loss coming to Kansas 67-63 in the first round of the Maui Invitational.  Despite not playing on a neutral court yet this year, Cincinnati is 6-2 ATS in its past eight games under that scenario.

The winner will play the winner between No. 9 Connecticut and No. 1 Syracuse in the semifinals on Friday at 7:00 p.m. (ET).

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