Vermont Eyeing Huge Upset
Two teams playing their best basketball are set to square off in a 2-15 game in the East Region.
Vermont has won 15 straight games after winning three games in the America East tournament by an average of 20.3 points. Marquette won the Big East tournament for the first time, surviving in overtime against St. John’s, edging UConn and then using a big first half to top Xavier in the championship game.
Marquette tested itself with games against Purdue and Baylor before conference play started. Vermont nearly topped USC and also faced Saint Mary’s in non-conference games.
When it comes to the college basketball news, Vermont got junior forward Nick Fiorillo back late in the regular season after he missed nearly three months. The top six scorers for the Catamounts combined to miss just six games this season.
Forward Zach Wrightsil, who hasn’t played since mid-November, is out for the season with a knee injury. Guard Emarion Ellis has yet to play this season for Marquette.
Marquette moved up two spots to No. 4 in the coaches’ poll and is sixth in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.
According to the odds to win March Madness, Marquette (+1200) is tied for ninth in the odds to win the national championship. Vermont is well back at +100000.
Transfer of Power
Vermont used the transfer portal to put it in position to return to the NCAA Tournament.
Leading scorer Dylan Penn came in from Bellarmine and averaged 23.3 points in the three games in the conference tournament. Former San Diego guard Finn Sullivan made a huge jump in his second season with the Catamounts while Delaware transfer Matt Veretto is another key contributor.
Not all the key players are new arrivals. Senior Aaron Deloney is a double-digit scorer off the bench.
Vermont is one of the worst teams in the tournament field in defensive efficiency according to the kenpom.com database so keep that in mind when making college basketball predictions.
Vermont made it clear that it was the team to beat in a one-bid league. The Catamounts didn’t trail by more than two points in the first two games in the America East tournament before facing an eight-point deficit against a UMass-Lowell team that was the top scoring team in the conference.
Since topping Maine on Jan. 19, Vermont hasn’t lost and 11 of the 15 wins by double digits.
Vermont has 8-2-1 against the college basketball betting lines in its last 11 games.
Big East Bullies
Winning nine games in a row in a conference like the Big East is nothing to overlook.
Kam Jones is one of four double-digit scorers, but it is point guard Tyler Kolek who makes Marquette go. He has at least twice as many assists as turnovers in five of the last six games as he gets the ball to his teammates at the right time.
Point guard Tyler Kolek’s fearlessness has been a hallmark of Marquette’s stunningly successful season. The approach helped Kolek develop from a mid-major prospect into a Big East player of the year.
— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) March 14, 2023
Winning in March has always been about elite guard play and the Golden Eagles have that.
Marquette has won its last six games decided by six points or less and that is something to consider when it comes to making college basketball picks.
The top six scorers were also on the team last season and that continuity should be invaluable as the degree of difficulty increases.
It doesn’t always look pretty but Shaka Smart knows how to get his team playing well at this time of the year and there is a toughness about the Golden Eagles’ team.
Marquette has covered against the NCAA basketball odds in just its last five of its last 11 games.
Marquette vs Vermont Game Injuries
Marquette vs Vermont Head-to-Head
Marquette vs Vermont Game Information
- Game: Vermont (23-10, 14-2 America East) vs Marquette (28-6, 17-3 Big East)
- Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
- Day/Time: Friday, March 17, 2:45 p.m. ET
- Vermont vs Marquette Live Stream: TBS.com
Marquette vs Vermont Betting Lines
Marquette vs Vermont Picks and Prediction
Marquette goes after its 10th straight win and this is a team loaded with confidence.
Marquette loves to push the pace so keep an eye on the total of 144.
The 10½-point line is one of the larger spreads and Marquette has failed to cover in three of the last four games when listed as a double-digit favorite.
Marquette is 21-12-1 against the spread, the second-best mark in the Big East. Vermont is 20-12-1 so this is a matchup featuring two of the better teams against the spread.
The Golden Eagles are 23-1 when listed by the sportsbook as the favorite. Vermont is 3-10 as the underdog.
Marquette is listed at -600 in our Las Vegas college basketball lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Golden Eagles, you have a chance to win $17. Vermont is +450, offering a chance to win $450 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Marquette a 85.71% chance to win, with Vermont at 18.18%.