The Sweet 16 is set and Miami and Marquette will kick it off in the East region, the only region that all four top seeds remain. Get NCAA Tournament odds at Oddsmaker sportsbook.
Miami (29-6) has been one of the best stories throughout the college basketball season. They were picked to finish fourth in the ACC in the preseason and maybe would get into the NCAA Tournament as a 10 or maybe 11 seed. Coach Jim Larranaga and his crew have been absolutely terrific this season as the ‘Canes ran through the ACC regular season, while absolutely crushing the Duke Blue Devils and then beat North Carolina twice, including a 26-point beat down at home. Miami then won the ACC Tournament and earned a 2-seed that very easily could have been a 1-seed. In the NCAA Tournament, Miami crushed Pacific in the first round then barely scooted by 7-seeded Illinois thanks to Shane Larkin’s clutch three with about a minute left and 21 points from bench player Rion Brown.
Marquette (25-8) may be lucky to even have made it to the Sweet 16 this season. They were very impressive in the extremely tough Big East and earned a 3-seed in the East. They were on sever upset watch against Davidson in the first round and would have lost if it wasn’t for Vander Blue’s late second layup. Then, the Golden Eagles almost tried to give the game away against Butler in the Round of 32 but again was able to advance.
Miami is 21-10-1 against the spread and 1-1 in the NCAA Tournament (the loss was the Illinois game). Marquette is 14-15 ATS and also 1-1 in the Tournament.
My pick is Miami. Marquette is lucky to still be in this tournament and they don’t have a big man that is capable of guarding Kenny Kadji on the perimeter. Also, it is so hard to stay in front of Shane Larkin, while Miami has the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in Durand Scott to defend Vander Blue at online sportsbook usa.