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The Miami Hurricanes and Marquette Golden Eagles are all set to meet in the classic No. 2 vs. No. 3 battle in the Sweet 16 of the 2013 NCAA tournament.
This promises to be a great showdown between two programs that have been at the top of the class during the 2012-13 campaign. It could go either way, but we’re here to help you pick some winners and determine which side will advance to the Elite Eight.
Keep reading to find out where to watch this matchup, the latest odds on the action, an updated injury report, a player to keep an eye out for and much more in our Miami vs. Marquette Sweet 16 preview.
When: Thursday, Mar. 28 at 7:15 p.m. ET
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
Live Stream: NCAA
Point Spread (via Bovada.lv): Miami -6
The Hurricanes have the edge here and should be able to cover the rather large spread.
While Miami hasn’t been the best team in the tournament during its initial two games, the program has been much more consistent than Marquette.
The Golden Eagles narrowly escaped No. 14 Davidson in the round of 64 and barely edged by Butler in the third round. They’ve been skirting a fine line, and Marquette just appears ripe to be eliminated by a good ‘Canes squad.
Lay the points and take the favorite in this one, as Miami has the personnel, experience and willpower to win big on Thursday.
Over/Under (via Bovada.lv): 127
We like the under here.
Both teams are great defensively, as Miami concedes just 60.3 points per game on 39.6 percent field goal shooting, while Marquette isn’t far behind—allowing opponents to score just 62.9 points per contest on 40.6 percent FG shooting.
Don’t expect many threes to fall either, as both schools allow just over 32 percent of the oppositions’ attempts from beyond the arc to drop.
Because of the athleticism and commitment to defense from both sides, it would be wise to lean towards “Under 127” when making your bet.
Miami Injury Report (via USA Today)
G Garrius Adams, Out, Knee
Marquette Injury Report (via USA Today)
No major injuries to report
Key Player to Watch: Shane Larkin, PG, Miami
The U’s point guard has been absolutely instrumental to the team's success during the 2012-13 season, and has been critical in the Hurricanes’ run to the Sweet 16.
In a blowout of Pacific in the round of 64, the 5’11”, 176-pound sophomore put up 10 points and nine assists. He scored 17 points and dished five dimes in the third-round thriller vs. Illinois.
He’s going to need to be at his best on Thursday against the tough Marquette defenders if Miami is going to be able to advance into the Elite Eight.
Fortunately for Miami fans, Larkin has been proving doubters wrong his entire career and will look to discredit those who are saying that he won’t be able to torch the stingy Golden Eagles defenders.
Keep a close eye on the ‘Canes' PG in this one, as he may absolutely go off and help his school continue on in the Big Dance.
While it is March Madness, the Miami Hurricanes are the better team and will prevail on Thursday.
Marquette has had too many close calls against inferior competition, leading us to believe that the Golden Eagles don’t have what it takes to hang around with the ‘Canes.
We predict that this contest will be close in the first half, but a second-half run by Miami will put things out of reach.
Miami 65 – Marquette 58