Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Markus Howard
It is the “punish” portion of the college basketball season.
Teams with national championship aspirations need to win convincing games on their home court to make a statement to the NCAA Tournament committee.
We take a look at two of the top teams in the Big East and Pac-12 and see if Marquette and Washington can inch closer to that elusive conference championship and high seeding in the big dance.
Let’s examine Butler at Marquette and Utah at Washington.
>> All odds as of 9 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and win probabilities on your bets
Betting Odds: Butler Bulldogs at Marquette Golden Eagles
- Spread: Marquette -5.5
- Over/Under: 145
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV: CBSSN
Butler (15-11) has proven one thing this year — it’s remarkably mediocre. In conference play, the Bulldogs are 4-3 at home and 2-4 on the road. The same is true against the spread, where they are 11-13-1 overall including 3-4-1 on the road.
Marquette (21-4) is just half a game behind Villanova atop the Big East standings. The Golden Eagles have been bolstered by a huge advantage at the new Fiserv Forum to a 15-1 home court record. They already enjoyed a huge win 76-58 on the road at Butler on Jan. 30.
Beyond the arc, Butler has struggled on the road. In their last three road games, the Bulldogs are shooting just 28.4% (23 of 81) from deep. They also possess the worst free throw percentage within the conference at 70.4%.
Marquette has been dominant at home and shut down the Bulldogs in Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Golden Eagles held Butler to 40% from 2P and 23% from beyond the arc. They also scored at will on offense and shot 50% (8 of 16) from 3P.
Marquette has everything to play for in this game and already has the blueprint on how to beat Butler. The Golden Eagles rank first in Big East play in 3P% and free throw percentage, while ranking second in effective field goal percentage.
Take the home team and give the points in an important win for Marquette’s regular season title aspirations.
THE PICK: Marquette -5.5
Utah Utes at Washington Huskies
- Spread: Washington -8.5
- Over/Under: 144
- Time: 11 p.m. ET
- TV: FS1