If you are so inclined, you can now bet on the University of Hawaii to win the Big West Tournament title - it is +775 to do so at 5Dimes. Over the weekend, the NCAA made the surprising decision to allow the Rainbow Warriors to play postseason basketball as the school won an appeal. The NCAA originally announced that Hawaii was banned for postseason play this year back in 2015 - taking the unusual stance of not forcing Hawaii to serve the postseason ban in 2016. Hawaii is the defending Big West Tournament champion but was middle-of-the-pack this season. It opens play against Long Beach State, the team it beat in last year's title game, on Thursday. UC Irvine is the -110 favorite for that tournament.
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Miami vs. Syracuse ( +2.5 )
ACC Tournament game at noon ET from Brooklyn and on ESPN. It's a must-have for the Orange, who are listed among ESPN's "last four byes" for the Big Dance. SU is the ACC's No. 8 seed and Miami the No. 9, with the winner probably losing to No. 1 North Carolina on Thursday. The Canes appear safely in the NCAA Tournament despite being lower-seeded for the ACC event. UM closed the regular season with losses at Virginia Tech and Florida State - the Hurricanes aren't very good away from home. They could be really good next year if top freshman Bruce Brown sticks around with arguably the best recruiting class in school history on the way. Miami is 13-11 all-time in ACC Tournament play. It hasn't faced Syracuse in it.
The Orange closed the season with a vital 90-61 blowout win of fellow bubble team Georgia Tech on Saturday. Senior Andrew White had a career-high 40 points in his final home game (unless SU heads to the NIT). He was 8-for-9 from long range. White matched the team record for points in the Carrier Dome set by Gene Waldron in 1983 against Iona. Syracuse beat visiting Miami 70-55 on Jan. 4 in the teams' only meeting this season. White scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds, and Tyler Lydon added 20 points. The Canes, who shot just 21 of 54, entered on a seven-game winning streak. Miami is 2-3 against Syracuse since under Coach Jim Larranaga.
Key trends: The Hurricanes are 0-8 against the spread in their past eight Wednesday games. The Orange are 4-1 ATS in their past five on Wednesday.
I'm leaning: Syracuse.
DePaul vs. Xavier (-10)
Big East Tournament game at 9:30 p.m. ET from Madison Square Garden on Fox Sports 1. No. 7 seed Xavier is listed among ESPN's "last four in" and playing in the First Four against USC. The Musketeers' season really went in the tubes when star point guard Edmond Sumner was lost for the season in late January. A six-game losing streak put the team on the bubble, but Xavier, once ranked No. 7 in the country, ended that Saturday in a 79-65 win over this DePaul team. Trevon Bluiett scored 24 points and added 10 rebounds. The win moved Xavier to 9-9 in Big East play to close out the season, moving Xavier's nation-best active streak of finishing at .500 or better in conference play (MCC, Atlantic 10 and Big East) to 35 straight seasons.
No. 10 DePaul was just 2-16 in the Big East, winning 64-63 at home over Providence and 67-65 at Georgetown. The Blue Demons were 0-2 vs. Xavier, losing that regular-season finale by 14 in Chicago - the school's final game at the Rosemont Horizon with a new building near campus on the way; the Blue Demons played their first game at the Rosemont Horizon (now Allstate Arena) on Dec. 1, 1980 -- and 72-61 in Cincinnati on Feb. 8. The winner takes on second-seeded Butler on Thursday. Xavier leads the series 10-9 and has won five straight vs. DePaul.
Key trends: The Blue Demons are 5-1 ATS in their past six. The Musketeers are 1-7 ATS in their past eight. The favorite is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings.
I'm leaning: Xavier.
Washington vs. USC (-11)
Pac-12 Tournament game from Las Vegas at 11:30 p.m. ET on the Pac-12 Network. Sixth-seeded USC is among the "last four in" on ESPN and, as noted above, currently projected to face Xavier in the First Four. The Trojans won their final two regular-season games to follow a four-game skid. I think they're probably in even with a loss thanks to great victories over UCLA and SMU. Southern Cal beat Washington 74-58 on Saturday. Jordan McLaughlin had 22 points and nine assists for USC. The Trojans outshot the Huskies 59-42 percent and outscored them 44-20 in the paint. USC's 23 wins is its most since winning a school-record 25 (25-12) in 2007.
Washington lost its 12th in a row and finished the regular season in 11th place in the conference. The Huskies' two Pac-12 victories this season came at home against Colorado in overtime and Oregon State. Noah Dickerson had a career-high 27 points and eight rebounds to lead the Huskies in that loss to USC. UW again played without superstar freshman Markelle Fultz and it doesn't sound like he's going to take the court here. So it will be a second straight year the NCAA Tournament won't include the likely No. 1 overall pick in that year's NBA draft after Ben Simmons' LSU team missed the Big Dance in 2016. This could also be the final game as Washington's coach for Lorenzo Romar. The winner takes on No. 3 UCLA Thursday.
Key trends: The Huskies are 1-8 ATS in their past nine. The Trojans are 4-1 ATS in their past five vs. teams with a losing record. UW is 1-5 ATS in the past six meetings.
I'm leaning: USC.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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