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Murray St. vs. Marquette West Region Gambling Free Picks & Preview

West Bracket – Racers vs Golden Eagles Handicapping Pick

The No. 6 Murray Racers overcame any tournament tension they may have had, and just two years after they let slip their chances at a long run in the NCAA tournament, cruised to a 58-41 victory over Colorado State on Thursday.  

(6) Murray State (31-1, OVC) vs. (3) Marquette (26-7, Big East)
Date/Time: 5:15 PM ET, Saturday, March 17, 2012
Venue: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky
Broadcast: TBS
Spread: Marquette -5
Over/Under: 142

Matchup | Preview 

Now the Racers will have a chance to prove themselves, as they aim to take out third-seeded Marquette on Saturday, with a spot in the regional semifinals on the line once again.

In 2011, Murray State seemed to have everything it needed to be a tournament darling, but their triumphant return to the “big dance” after a four-year hiatus was cut short.

After stunning third-seeded Vanderbilt in the opening round, Butler delivered a crushing blow in the following game, ending the Racers’ Cinderella run.

The sting of that loss is still felt today by then-inexperienced freshman guard Isaiah Canaan whose desperation pass in the closing seconds was poked away.

But Canaan seems to have put that all behind him at least for now, scoring a team-high 15 points while grabbing seven rebounds against the Rams.

Dante Poole also contributed 13 points, as the Racers backcourt came up big, forcing 21 turnovers and only giving it away seven times themselves.

Nonetheless, one area Murray State will need to improve quickly will be rebounding. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

The Racers are going to have to get much more aggressive on the glass than they did against Colorado, as they will face a Marquette squad that dominated BYU, outrebounding them by 16 during their last outing.

Still, the Racers are in for a serious test against Marquette who was nothing short of impressive while eliminating the Cougars.

The Golden Eagles had their was with BYU for the most part, as Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder showed all of their star power.

Crowder racked up 25 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and five steals while Odom notched 20 to go along with five rebounds and four assists.

But the stuffing of the stat sheet didn’t end there, as the G-birds got hefty donations from both Davante Gardner, who looked good after returning from injury, and Todd Mayo.

However, no matter how perfect Marquette looked against BYU, they did fall short in one statistical area. Turnovers. They turned the ball over 15 times against the Cougars.

Something they cannot afford to do against an opportunistic Racers’ defense.

Prediction – Marquette – The G-bird’s stingy defense and rebounding will be enough to earn them a spot in the Sweet 16 here.

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