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Marquette vs. West Virginia: Preview, how to watch, odds

The Golden Eagles take aim at a familiar foe in the Charleston Classic.

Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Following a 78-72 win over Ole Miss, Marquette is back in action. The Golden Eagles are teed up to face the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Charleston Classic semifinals. MU is off to a 4-0 start in Shaka Smart’s first season in Milwaukee, and they’ve had quite the week already. They knocked 10th-ranked Illinois off at home earlier in the week and will look to beat a third high-major team in a row on Friday evening in South Carolina. WVU comes into this game 3-0 with wins over Oakland, Pittsburgh, and Elon under their belt.

How to watch Marquette vs. West Virginia

Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN2
Watch Online: ESPN App

Betting Odds

(via DraftKings Sportsbook)

Spread: WVU -5 | Marquette +5
Total: 142.5
Moneyline: WVU -210 | Marquette +175

Darryl Morsell and Justin Lewis have been powering Marquette along this season. The dynamic duo has gotten off to an outstanding start in most if not all facets. Morsell is shooting over 50 percent on 2-pointers and 3-pointers and over 77 percent from the FT line. While Lewis’ 3-point contributions aren’t matching Morsell’s, he’s shooting over 80 percent from the FT line and 53.3 percent on 2-pointers. They’ve been a tough duo for other teams to corral, but WVU will be hoping to do that to them Friday evening.

The Mountaineer defense has been pretty strong per usual. They have the highest turnover rate in the country through the early goings (34.8%) of the year. Their block- and steal-rate are both in the Top 10 nationally and they’ve yet to give up more than 70 points in a game. The key for Marquette will have to be making the most of their possessions. Rebounding has been one of WVU’s only faults this year, and while MU hasn’t had a big presence, they’ll have to hope to corral some boards and create second-chance opportunities to score.

For MU on defense, they’ll have to do better at defending the 3. WVU hasn’t shot the ball great from deep this year yet, but Marquette’s defense has been pretty rough. They’ve given up 36.5 percent from that mark, but something might be worth noting. They haven’t had many teams shoot the ball from 3 against them. Their defensive 3-point rate is just 34.7 percent, which fits inside the Top 100 nationally. It’s not as if teams are taking and making 3-balls at an accelerated rate against them. They’re just on the downside of things in these early sequences. Whether that translates to a strong defensive performance themselves on Friday night is yet to be seen.

This should prove to be a very competitive game between two teams who’ll scrap like hell. I’m excited about it, and you should be too.