Marquette knows it better let the foot off the gas if they get ahead of BYU in West Region action, after seeing what the Cougars did in the play-in game.
The Cougars rallied from 25 points down to beat Iona in Dayton and earn the West's No. 14 seed. They get 3-seed Marquette, who lost to Louisville in the Big East tournament. BYU lost to Gonzaga in the WCC finals.
Of note, 3 seeds have dominated the betting in the first round against No. 14s for several years (No. 3 is 11-5 ATS past 4 seasons vs 14s). [ Watch the opening line for this game at and check out their bracket contest ]
This game is being played at a neutral-site court (KFC Yum! Center).
The Golden Eagles currently sports a 25-7 record overall in NCAAB action, and have posted a corresponding betting slate of 15-12-2 ATS. The Cougars are 26-8 and 15-15 ATS. Betting totals have seen the Golden Eagles produce a 18-11 OVER/UNDER record on the season, while the Cougars have gone 11-19 against the number.
Power Rankings / Prediction:
The Odds Shark Power Rankings have the Golden Eagles at No. 21 and the Cougars at No. 14 heading into this contest. Handicapping models at Odds Shark project a 83-82 result in favor of the Cougars.
How They Match Up:
The game also pits Marquette's No. 31-ranked offense, averaging 75.9 PPG, against a Cougars defense that ranks No. 170 at 66.8 PPG. The Golden Eagles field goal percentage has averaged 45.9% so far, less than the Cougars marksmen have achieved on the year, 46.8% per game.
Defensively, BYU features the nation's No. 135-rated defense on the road, allowing 68.3 points per game. Marquette, meanwhile, comes in at No. 31 nationally in scoring at home.
BYU won its last outing, a 78-72 result against Iona on March 13. They covered in that game as a 1.5-point favorite. BYU got 23 points from Noah Hartsock en route to a 78-72 victory over Iona on Tuesday at Dayton Arena.
Marquette lost its last outing, an 84-71 result against Louisville on March 8. They failed to cover in that game as a 3.5-point favorite. Darius Johnson-Odom scored 23 points in a futile effort to lead the Golden Eagles to a win (they lost 84-71 to Louisville at Madison Square Garden on Thursday).