No. 7 South Carolina vs. No. 10 Marquette Preview
Where: Bon Secours Wellness Arena— Greenville, South Carolina
When: Friday, March 17, 2017, 9:50 PM ET
Line: South Carolina Gamecocks (-1) vs. Marquette Golden Eagles (+1); total: 144.0 – view all NCAA Basketball lines
TV Broadcast: TBS
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Betting on the South Carolina Gamecocks (-1)
South Carolina (+20,000) can thank its ruthless defense for taking them back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004.
The Gamecocks hold opponents under 65 point per game, to a 45.0 effective field goal percentage, and force an average of 17.4 turnovers (2nd-most in the nation) to go along with 7.9 steals per outing.
While opposing teams are put into touch situations, contested shots and minimal open looks, it inevitably results to easy points for the South Carolina, which has Sindarius Thornwell as the centerpiece of its attack.
The senior guard leads the team in points (21.0 PPG) and rebounds (7.2) this season, and shoots 38.8 percent from deep. Still, however, the Gamecocks are a liability on offense, especially when their perimeter shots don’t drop. They are posting just 71.5 points per game this season.
Betting on the Marquette Golden Eagles (+1)
The Golden Eagles (+30,000) let their offense do most, if not all, of the talking. They average 82.5 points per game on 48.0 percent shooting, including a nation-leading 43.0 shooting rate from three-point territory.
This team’s offense has seven players seeing at least 20 minutes per game—five of which are averaging double-digits in scoring. Leading the way is freshman Markus Howard, who puts up 13.2 points and is knocking down 54.9 percent of his threes. He’s 14-of-23 from down town in his previous five contests.
Marquette’s defense is a panful sight, though. It allows opponents to shoot 45.7 percent from the field during the regular-season, while giving up 75 points a game. Nevertheless, the Golden Eagles can win any contest whenever their shooters are on target. Their 74-72 win over Villanova in January can attest to that.
Marquette (+1) gets the upset here, 74-70.
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