Marquette (18-5) at Butler (16-8)
When: Tuesday, February 13th, 2024
Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse,
Time: 6:30 ET | TV: FS1
Opening Odds: Marquette -3/154.5
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The hot teams will clash in Indianapolis on Tuesday night, as the Butler Bulldogs host the fourth-ranked Marquette Golden Eagles in a key Big East matchup. While Marquette will easily make the Big Dance, the Bulldogs could use another signature win to solidify their standing in the tournament. Butler began play on Saturday as one of the Last Four Byes according to Joe Lunardi. That was before a nice 75-72 home win over Providence. That win will reflect in the next Bracketology that comes out this week.
While, Butler has won five of six to get back into the discussion, the Golden Eagles have reeled off five-straight victories after an 86-75 win over St. John’s on Saturday. The fourth-ranked Golden Eagles are a projected No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and could still gain a No. 1 with a strong finish. Marquette is in second place in the Big East, 2.5 games behind the No. 1 ranked UConn Huskies.
This is a revenge game for Marquette, who’s last loss came on Jan. 10 at home to this Butler squad. The Bulldogs had four scorers in double digits that day, led by Pierre Brooks with 14 points and 10-point, 14-rebound effort from Jalen Thomas. Tyler Kolek had just two points for Marquette in that contest on 1-of-13 shooting. The Golden Eagles shot just 32.9 percent from the floor and 16.1 percent from 3-point range. Marquette won in Indianapolis last season, 72-56.
In Marquette’s only game last week, trailed by nine at halftime before roaring back to take down St. John’s. Kolek led the way with 27 points, seven rebound and 13 assists. Stevie Mitchell added 14 points while Oso Ighodaro scored nine while grabbing nine rebounds. Kolek leads the team with 15.6 points and 7.5 assists per game. Mitchell averages 1.9 steals, while Ighodaro grabs 7.3 boards to go with his 14.1 points per game. Marquette will play their final road game of the season at Connecticut on Saturday.
DJ Davis led the Bulldogs with his 20 points and eight rebounds, while Brooks added 12 points and seven boards in the win over Providence on Saturday. Alexander had a very solid game, recording 10 points, eight boards and eight assists. Brooks leads Butler with 15.8 points per game, while Alexander averages 5.3 assists and 2.4 steals per game. The Bulldogs rank 32nd in the country in field goal shooting (48.0%), but shot only 34.8 percent from beyond the arc.
This should be a terrific game, but the Golden Eagles are the better team, who is capable of reaching the Final Four. Hinkle Fieldhouse is not an easy place to win, but Marquette has won twice in the last three trips here. The Bulldogs are just 5-7 ATS at home and won’t have enough to take down the Golden Eagles.