The Vermont Catamounts and the Marquette Golden Eagles meet Friday in NCAA Tournament First Round college basketball action from Nationwide Arena. Vermont is sitting at 23-10 overall this year. The Catamounts beat UMass Lowell in the America East Tournament championship on Saturday. As for Marquette, they’re sitting at 28-6 overall. The Eagles beat Xavier in their last appearance. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Vermont was sitting at 20-10 by the end of the regular season. The Catamounts closed on a nice 12-game win streak, then beat NJIT in the first game of the America East Tournament. After that was a win over Binghamton 79-57.
In the championship against UMass Lowell on Saturday, the Catamounts took a 29-25 deficit into the second half. Vermont rolled on a 47-30 run from there and won it 72-59. Dylan Penn was the team’s top scorer on 21 points and four rebounds.
Marquette Golden Eagles
Over on the Marquette side, their regular season ended at a solid 25-6 overall. The Golden Eagles managed victories in their final six games, then beat St. John’s 72-70 in the conference tourney. Marquette followed that up with a 70-58 win over UConn.
Back on Saturday in the championship versus Xavier, the Eagles hit a 39-24 first-half run. Marquette scored another 26 points in the second to power out the win 65-51. Tyler Kolek was tops on the team with 20 points and eight rebounds.
ANDREW’S FREE PICK
I may take a stab on Vermont here. We should have a pretty interesting matchup on our hands. The Catamounts are on a nice run these days, taking wins in 15 straight games. Vermont has scored well also, with 70 or more points in 14 straight. As for Marquette, they’ve won nine straight themselves. A lot of those games have been close affairs, however; five of the last eight victories have come by two points or fewer. If Vermont can maintain form for the whole game here, I think they’ve got a solid shot at a cover. Should be a fun one.