This will be the last season of the Big East as we know it with the Syracuse Orange and Pittsburgh Panthers departing for the ACC in 2013/14. However, before those two Big East powerhouses make their move they’ll both be in competition for one last conference title.
Both will be chasing the Louisville Cardinals, who enter the 2012/13 season as the favorite to win the Big East at +170 at 5Dimes. Louisville finished last season strong by winning the Big East Tournament and then advancing to the Final Four before being eliminated by eventual champion Kentucky. Peyton Siva and Wayne Blackshear lead a talented group that should be right at the top of the conference once again.
Pittsburgh is currently +380 to win the Big East at 5Dimes despite coming off a rough year in which the Panthers failed to receive an NCAA Tournament bid for the first time in 10 years. Getting Trey Woodall back healthy will make a huge difference, and an influx of talented freshman and Central Michigan transfer Trey Zeigler should get the Panthers back on track.
Year after year, Jim Boeheim and the Syracuse Orange continue to churn out talent and winning seasons. Even with Top-5 NBA draft pick Dion Waiters and other stars Kris Joseph, Fab Melo, and Scoop Jardine departing, the Orange are +550 to win the Big East. Players like Rakeem Christmas and Michael-Carter Williams are ready for their turn in the spotlight and should keep Syracuse rolling.
Big man Jack Cooley averaged 12.5 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+550) last season, and should be a force again in his senior season. Mike Brey’s teams are always disciplined and smart with the basketball, and this year’s group should be no different.
Georgetown (+600) has no seniors this year and has lost last year’s three starters, but Otto Porter leads a very talented young group that looks more than capable of keeping Georgetown’s stretch of at least 21 wins over the last three seasons alive.
Marquette (+1300), St. Johns (+1300), Cincinnati (+1300), Providence (+2100), Seton Hall (+2200), South Florida (+2500), Rutgers (+2800), Villanova (+2800), and DePaul (+6500) round out the Big East’s divisional odds at 5Dimes heading into the new season.