The #6 Marquette Golden Eagles (26-6, 17-3 Big East) take on the #11 UConn Huskies (25-7, 13-7 Big East) in the semifinals of the Big East Conference Tournament. UConn took care of business against Providence in Thursday’s quarterfinals, while the Golden Eagles eked out a narrow victory over St. John’s. The two teams split their regular season head-to-head matchups.
Friday’s matchup tips off at 6:30 p.m. EST inside Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. The Huskies open as a 3.5-point favorite while the total is 147 points.
What to Know – #6 Marquette Golden Eagles
The no. 1 seed in the conference tournament was nearly sent packing by eighth-seeded St. John’s Red Storm on Thursday. Marquette pulled out the victory in overtime, but the Golden Eagles struggled early, trailing by ten points heading into halftime. Big East Player of the Year, Tyler Kolek, was held scoreless in the first half before erupting for 19 points in the second half.
On offense, the Golden Eagles were second in the conference, pouring in 81.0 points per game thanks to 49.5% shooting from the floor and 35.4% from beyond the arc. Marquette’s defense ranked seventh in the league, holding opponents to 71.3 ppg, 45.4% shooting from the field, and 35.9% from three.
The Golden Eagles own a 19-12-1 record against the spread and 1-1-1 ATS on games played at a neutral site.
Marquette is just 1-6 ATS over its previous seven contests played during the month of March.
What to Know – #11 UConn Huskies
The Huskies are the fourth seed in Big East Tournament play and looking to improve their NCAA Tournament seeding. UConn built up a 35-19 advantage in yesterday’s quarterfinal win over Providence, eventually taking home the 73-66 victory. UConn’s Jordan Hawkins led all scorers with 19 points, while Tristen Newton came off the bench to score 16 points.
UConn’s offense was third in the Big East averaging 79.0 ppg while hitting 46.9% of its attempts from the field and 35.8% from the 3-point line. Defensively, the Huskies were top in the conference, surrendering 64.8 ppg, 40.8% shooting from the floor and 29.7% from deep.
UConn comes into the contest with a 21-11 record ATS and a perfect 4-0 mark ATS on a neutral floor. Over the last six contests, the Huskies are 5-1 ATS in matchups against Marquette.
The Pick is In
Two of the top-scoring teams in the conference face off with a trip to Saturday’s tournament final on the line against the winner of Creighton and Xavier. UConn has one of the best defensive units in the nation, but the Golden Eagles had success scoring against the Huskies during the regular season.
Both contests during the season surpassed the 150-point mark, and we predict that trend will continue when these two teams hit the floor on Friday.
The Pick: Marquette/UConn Over 147 points