2012 Big East Conference Tournament
Wednesday, 3/7/12, 7:00 p.m. Eastern, TV: ESPN
#7 Louisville Cardinals (22-9, 10-8 Big East) vs. #10 Seton Hall Pirates (20-11, 9-10)
Madison Square Garden – New York, New York
Opening Line: Louisville -3
Current Line: Louisville -3.5
Opening Total: 123
Current Total: 123.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
The 10th-seeded Seton Hall Pirates could have knocked themselves out of contention for an NCAA tournament bid with a loss in the opening round of the Big East Conference tournament on Tuesday. The Pirates (20-11, 9-10 Big East) may still need one more victory against the seventh-seeded Louisville Cardinals (22-9, 10-8) in the second round on Wednesday though to earn an invitation to the Big Dance.
Seton Hall tried to erase a season-ending two-game skid with a 79-47 rout of No. 15 seed Providence on Tuesday. The Pirates easily covered the 6-point spread but may need one more win over Louisville to avoid their bubble being burst and solidify an NCAA tourney berth. That’s because the team was blown out 86-58 at No. 16 seed DePaul in the regular-season finale. Whether or not the big loss to the Blue Demons will cost Seton Hall remains to be seen.
The Cardinals (-3.5, O/U 123.5) are struggling worse right now, falling out of the Top 25 after dropping four of their past six games. They have failed to cover each of their last five, and three of those games saw them as 8-point favorites or more. Louisville’s worst loss during that stretch was a 58-51 setback at home to No. 6 South Florida, which faces No. 14 seed Villanova to close out Wednesday’s action at Madison Square Garden.
In the last meeting between the teams, the Cardinals won 60-51 at Seton Hall on January 28 as 1-point underdogs. That victory came in the midst of a six-game winning streak for Louisville, with the team covering a season-best seven in a row at one point. The Pirates shot a putrid 28 percent from the field, making just 3 of 18 shots from beyond the 3-point arc (17 percent) and 16 of 27 from the free-throw line (59 percent). They were also outrebounded by a 40-29 margin.
Seton Hall is 6-2 against the spread in its last eight Big East games but has dropped six of the past eight meetings with the Cardinals to go along with a 4-4 ATS mark. The Pirates had lost a season-high six straight games when they fell to Louisville and rebounded to win four of their next five, including a 73-55 home victory against No. 5 seed Georgetown on February 21.
The UNDER has cashed in the last three meetings along with the past four games for the Cardinals overall and the previous two for Seton Hall. Despite losing three of four, Louisville has not allowed more than 60 points in any of those games.
The winner will play No. 2 seed Marquette on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. (ET).