Get ready folks. It's here. Big East Conference play, need I say anymore more?
Did someone turn on the CBS March Madness theme song on? I keep hearing voices of "Onions!" floating around in my head. It's March right? Nope, only December, but boy oh boy it sure is starting the feel like March. Tip-off to Big East Basketball is here and haven't been on the edge of my seat like this since I was trying to figure out who the winner of Miss Universe was. Sorry Harvey.
Anyways, Seton Hall. Marquette. 7 p.m. BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Let's do this.
How to watch, listen, stream
Game Time: 7 p.m. ET
Online Streaming: Streaming is available for this matchup via FOX Sports GO where available.
Spread: The Golden Eagles are 3.5-point favorites via OddsShark. They can be had as 3- and 4-point favorites elsewhere.
Records ATS: Seton Hall (7-4) || Marquette (5-6)
O/U: The O/U opened at 141.5. That's just about where it is except at Bovada where it's at 141.
3 things to watch
Marquette Front Court: Marquette has a monstrous front court, arguably the best front court in the Big East. With freshman five-star recruit Henry Ellenson and junior Luke Fischer coming in at 6-foot-10 and 6-foot-11 this is a team with two towering redwood trees protecting and pounding the glass all day. With players average around 30 minutes and roughly 15 points and 9.0 rebounds per game (Ellenson averaging 16.8 points and Fischer picking up 14.5), Seton Hall will need to ready for a rough and physical game. Getting boards will be major.
Seton Hall's Super Sophomores: Both of these teams are loaded with young talent. Seton Hall has started all sophomores the past four games. This team is young and has some pep in its step. The trifecta that the Golden Eagles need to prepare for the most is Isaiah Whitehead, Angel Delgado, and Desi Rodriguez. These super sophomores can flat out ball. Whitehead is averaging 14.8 points and 4.1 assists per game this season, and is a flat-out playmaker and can beat defenses in a variety of ways.
Off the dribble, jump shot, slashing, and creating, Whitehead does it all. He is a true high energy guy, he can silent a crowd rather fast. Angel Delgado, another super sophomore, is averaging 9.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Delgado crashes the board and runs the pick-and-roll to perfection. A big man battle of Delgado bruising versus Fischer and Ellenson down low will be a great matchup to watch.
Lastly, Desi Rodriguez: A physical, powerful, and shifty 6-foot-6 small forward. Desi is averaging 12.3 points per game and shooting 52.5 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from 3-point land. Suffice it to say, Desi is efficient. These three players will be giving Marquette problems. If they can weather the storm of these players (easier said then done), limit second chance opportunities, and play their game, I like Marquette's chances at home.
Marquette's trifecta of freshman: Henry Ellenson, Haanif Cheatham, and Traci Carter have been bringing the noise this season to this point. Ellenson, the number four recruit in the nation, and a Kevin Love-like clone can pretty much do anything he wants on the court.
Averaging 16.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game, Seton Hall must hit him with double teams and different defensive looks to slow him down. Now another one to watch out for is 6-foot-5 shooting guard Haanif Cheatham. The shooting guard is averaging 10.3 points per game, shooting 63 percent from deep.
Lastly, there is Traci Carter. Carter knew Big East play was in his future, having decided between MU and Xavier as well. Carter is getting 25.1 minutes per game, with a versatile stat line to boot.
We might have a little preview of a Big East conference championship in a couple of years with the youth that will be on the court in this game. All in all, Big East Basketball is back. Get excited, we made it. This should be a good one.