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College basketball: DePaul vs no. 21 Connecticut

DePaul (7-23, 1-17 Big East) plays No. 21 Connecticut (21-9, 9-9 Big East) at Madison Square Garden in New York in Tuesday’s college basketball betting opportunity.

This year, however, the Big East features seven nationally-ranked teams including No. 3 Pittsburgh, No. 4 Notre Dame, No. 11 Syracuse, No. 14 Louisville, No. 18 St. John’s, No. 22 Georgetown and No. 21 UConn. Despite placing higher in the rankings than Georgetown, the Huskies find themselves in ninth place with a 9-9 record in conference play.

The past few years, Connecticut has been one of the elite teams in college basketball – until they play in the NCAA tournament. Connecticut has lost six straight Big East tournament games. The Huskies have exited in its first game the past five years.

Connecticut should pick up an easy win Tuesday afternoon. DePaul is the bottom dweller in the league, residing in last place having gone a pitiful 1-17 in Big East play. Yes, out of 18 league games this year, DePaul only won one game.

The Huskies finished in a three-way tie (six games behind) with Villanova and Marquette.

The Huskies have won the tournament six times, most recently in 2004. Since that triumph, they are 1-6 in the event and lost 73-51 to St. John's last season. UConn is 5-1 all-time against DePaul. The Blue Demons will play without Cleveland Melvin who is out for the season with a sprained left thumb. Melvin had averaged 14.3 points per game.

Tip-off is at 12pm EST on Tuesday. The winner of Tuesday’s matchup will face No. 22 Georgetown on Wednesday.

South Florida vs Villanova

South Florida (9-22, 3-15 Big East) plays Villanova (21-010, 9-9 Big East) at the Madison Square Garden in New York in Big East action. Tip-off is at 7pm EST Tuesday evening.

From November to mid-January, Villanova was considered one of the elite teams in the country expected to make a deep run in this month’s NCAA tournament. Since then, it has all been down hill for a Villanova team ranked No. 19 until last week. The Wildcats had won 16 of its first 17 games.

However, the end of January saw the team drop two straight against Providence and then-No. 20 Georgetown. In a span of five weeks, the team would lose a total of six games against Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, St. John’s, Notre Dame, and again against Pittsburgh. Villanova enters Tuesday’s conference game having lost four in a row.

Fortunately for the Wildcats, they are expected to emerge with a relatively easy win against a South Florida team that is ranked second-to-last in Big East standings, just above of DePaul. The Wildcats “big three” guards will need to step up. Guard Corey Fisher averages 15.5 points and 4.8 assists per game. Guard Corey Stokes adds 14.9 points while guard Maalik Wayns averages 13.7 points and 4.6 assists per contest.