|Written by Michael|
Bet on NCAABAfter being considered one of the last of 11 total teams to make it into the NCAA tournament from the Big East, Marquette is now one of the final two that have not been eliminated.
Tonight, they take on the Tar Heels in Newark, NJ for a 7:15 PM ET tip-off. The game will be televised on CBS.
The Golden Eagles got to this stage of the tournament by knocking out Xavier in an easy win. They then upset No. 3 seed Syracuse to advance to the Round of 16. Both wins were surprising, but the greatest challenge by far will be for Marquette to take down North Carolina.
While these two teams have met four times before in the tournament, Marquette trails the series, having won only one of those games, all the way back in 1977. That year, the underdog Golden Eagles came out on top of the Tar Heels to win the national championship.
This year's meeting between the two will be little different. Sportsbook odds are listing the Tar Heels as the 4.5 point favorites to win the game. North Carolina comes into the tournament with a history or wins, as well as a high seed. Marquette came in with neither and has been a surprise so far.
They key for the Tar Heels will be scoring early and often by outrunning the Golden Eagles, and outrebounding. North Carolina is 14-0 when they score 80 or more points, and they like to turn games into track meets. They are also 25-2 when grabbing more rebounds.
But North Carolina, while being talented, is not that deep. The program relies on about eight total players, and none of the three key reserves make a huge impact on the floor. Although they are fast, the Tar Heels do not have a great shot percentage, making only 33.2% of three-pointers. They are bad at the foul line, too, making an average of 67% of their free throws.