There is a good chance college basketball might not be on the country’s collective conscience today; rumor has it there is a big football game tonight, but before the football gets interesting (does anyone really need nine hours of pregame coverage??) there is some good college hoops action taking place.
Four ranked teams will be in action, as well as good games between unranked teams in the ACC, Big East and Pac-12. Let’s see if we can build on yesterday’s winning day and pluck another handful of winners.
Marquette Warriors at Louisville Cardinals -10.5
Louisville was the #1 ranked team in the nation just three short weeks ago, but what a difference a month can make. Since then, the Cardinals have endured a once unthinkable three game losing streak which included a heartbreaker at home to Syracuse and a jarring road loss to Villanova. They have failed to cover in their last four games and they haven’t looked like a true Final Four caliber team since their 73-58 road win at UConn back in January 14th.
Marquette has exceeded all expectations to this point in the season. They were picked as low as 11th in most preseason Big East polls, but have remained ranked in the Top 25 most of the last seven weeks and appear to be an absolute NCAA lock. They have won eight of their last nine basketball games and have covered in six of them. They have wins over Georgetown, UConn at Pitt, and their only loss was a two point road loss at Cincinnati. They are just 1-3 in true road games, but aside from the Florida game back in November, they have been close and competitive.
I think this has the potential to be a very good game today, and Louisville SHOULD win at home. I wouldn’t be surprised if they bounced back and looked great at home, but I haven’t seen much in Marquette to tell me this is a team about to take a double-digit loss to anyone at anyplace. Buzz’s team is aggressive and defensively and defensively sound. They take care of the basketball, which is vital against a team that likes to trap and play pressure defense like Louisville.
I don’t expect Marquette to be too rattled by the Louisville pressure. These two teams have played fairly competitive games in the past, with Marquette covering in four of their last six meetings. I like a good game today and like Marquette getting a big 10.5 points.
Free Pick: Marquette Warriors +10.5