Looking to Put The Face Slap Behind Them Texas Tech Meets Marquette

Team Page: Texas Tech :: Marquette

64% of The Public Betting Marquette -3.5 | Matchup | Picks
As the inaugural class gets inducted to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, Texas Tech coach Bob Knight is solidifying his place as one of the game's all-time greats.

Knight looks to move closer to the record for Division I victories as the Red Raiders face No. 16 Marquette in the semifinals of the College Basketball Experience Classic at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.

Oddsmakers have made Marquette -3.5 point spread favorites (College Basketball Odds) for tonights game, the over/under has been set at 145 total points (View College Basketball Sports Books).

Knight has 873 career coaching wins, three behind Adolph Rupp and six shy of Dean Smith's all-time record. Smith, along with Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell and John Wooden, were to join the family of basketball founder Dr. James Naismith Sunday to represent the Hall of Fame's inaugural class of about 180 coaches, players and contributors.

The Hall of Fame is part of the College Basketball Experience, an interactive attraction that will eventually be incorporated into the new Sprint Center arena, set to open in downtown Kansas City next year.

``It's such a historic time to be there for the induction of this,'' Marquette coach Tom Crean said. ``Going against such great programs and such great leaders in all of coaching, it means a lot to us as coaches and certainly the players.''

Knight has guided the Red Raiders to a 4-0 record this season, including wins over Gardner-Webb and Arkansas-Little Rock in the Lubbock Regional of the tournament. However, the victories didn't come without controversy, as the fiery coach was criticized for using his hand to forcibly lift sophomore Michael Prince's chin during a timeout so that Prince would look him in the eye.

Still, the Golden Eagles, who have never faced Texas Tech, were excited about squaring off against Knight - especially sophomore guard Dominic James, who grew up in Indiana. Knight coached the Indiana Hoosiers for 29 seasons.

``It is a great opportunity for me and my teammates to go up against a hall of fame coach in coach Knight,'' James said. ``I love coaches like that. It will be an honor to play against him. We are ready for it. It will be a great atmosphere.''

Knight wasn't pleased with his team's effort in its most recent game, an 85-81 win over North Dakota State on Friday. Jarrius Jackson, who leads the team with 24 points per game, scored 26, but Knight said his defensive effort was the worst he had seen.

``This was a game that the wrong team won,'' Knight said. ``This isn't a game of brilliant decisions. This is a game of outplaying people, outhustling people, outworking people and that's what they did.''

The Golden Eagles (4-0) boast one of the best backcourts in the country in Dominic James and Jerel McNeal and have outscored opponents by an average of 22 points. James leads the team with 16.8 points per game, and McNeal is averaging 12.

Marquette needed overtime to get past Idaho State in the first round of the tournament, but routed Detroit 87-45 to reach the semifinals.

The Golden Eagles are coming off Saturday's 95-62 victory over Eastern Michigan, a game which was not part of this tournament.

Marquette has made 23 of 46 3-point attempts in their last two games, and sank 13 from beyond the arc against Eastern Michigan.

Center Mike Kinsella did not play and is likely out 6-8 weeks because of a stress fracture he suffered in his left foot.

by: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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