MARQUETTE GOLDEN EAGLES VS. MOUNT ST. MARY’S MOUNTAINEERS
RANKINGS: Marquette (KenPom: 49) | Mount St. Mary’s (KenPom: 269)
TIME: 8 p.m. CT
COMMENTATORS: Jeff Levering, Stephen Bardo
WATCH ONLINE: Fox Sports Go (Where Available)
SERIES HISTORY: Marquette has only played MSM once before. That came back in MU’s season opener on November 11, 2011. The Golden Eagles trounced the Mountaineers 91-37, due in large to double figures efforts from six players. That included Jae Crowder, Darius Johnson-Odom, Vander Blue, Chris Otule, Junior Cadougan and Jamail Jones. Nice trip down memory lane, eh?
PLAYERS TO WATCH
MARQUETTE - MARKUS HOWARD
The nation’s top 3-point shooter is back, and Markus Howard will likely be a force again. Now a sophomore, Howard is coming off one of the most prodigious seasons in recent memory for a freshman in the Big East. If not for Justin Patton or Shamorie Ponds, Howard may very well have been the Big East Freshman of the Year. Nonetheless, he will have a chance to tee off right off the bat. MSM’s 3-point defense was good, not great, ranking 114th in the country at 34.1 percent allowed. Markus is one of several threats that The Mount will have to take note of, but all eyes in Milwaukee will likely be on the sophomore star.
MOUNT ST. MARY’S -- LAMONT ‘JUNIOR’ ROBINSON
2016-17’s leading scorer for The Mount was Elijah Long. He, however, has since transferred to Texas. So the reigning NEC regular season and conference tournament champion Mountaineers will have to put their stock in Lamont ‘Junior’ Robinson. Size doesn’t matter to Robinson, who averaged 14.1 points per game a season ago while standing in at just 5-foot-5. Junior is now a senior, and the North Carolina native will no doubt look to pick up where he left off. He landed on the Preseason All-NEC First Team, so expectations are high for him.
WHAT HAPPENS HERE?
Marquette is currently projected to win by 20 on KenPom, which probably sounds about right. Last time we saw The Mount, they gave the Villanova Wildcats fits in the Round of 64. A similar challenge will await them with Marquette’s high-powered offense. The Golden Eagles simply have too many threats though for Mount St. Mary’s to handle. This will likely be a blowout, but it will be fun to see MU’s offense get it going.
Prediction: Marquette 90, Mount St. Mary’s 68