College Hoops: N'Western St at #8 Marquette Print
Written by TheSpread   
Friday, 01 December 2006 06:30
NCAAB Headline News



One-Sided Betting as Northwestern State Meets #8 Marquette

Team Page: Northwestern St :: Marquette

95% of Bets Placed on Marquette -14 | Matchup | CBB Picks
Marquette's run of six straight Blue & Gold Classic championships came to an end last season.

The eighth-ranked Golden Eagles (7-0) look to get back on track in their own tournament Friday when they open against Northwestern State (4-2) at the Bradley Center.

Oddsmakers have made Marquette -14 point spread favorites (College Basketball Odds) for todays game, the over/under has

been set at 152 total points (View College Basketball Sports Books).

Marquette coach Tom Crean was 13-0 in Blue & Gold Classic play before his team was upset 71-64 by Winthrop in last year's championship game. The Golden Eagles allowed 22 offensive rebounds and fell for the first time in the event since a 67-51 loss to Tulsa on Dec. 5, 1998.

Crean's club is riding plenty of momentum as it tries to ensure there won't be a repeat this season. Marquette has won its first seven games for the third time under Crean and the first time since a 9-0 start two seasons ago.

The Golden Eagles have already captured one tournament this season by winning the prestigious CBE Classic with a 73-62 victory over then-No. 9 Duke on Nov. 21. They are 24-2 in regular-season tournaments under Crean.

A spectacular performance by Dominic James helped Marquette remain unbeaten with a 65-62 victory at Valparaiso on Monday night. James scored the Golden Eagles' final 18 points over the last 6:23, including the game-winning 3-pointer with 3 seconds left.

``He got a great shot off,'' Crean said. ``I'll never forget it. I had a great line where I was kneeling. He stepped up and made a great play. That's what great players do to become outstanding players. He's moving and he's on his way.''

It marked the second straight game that a scoring spree by James sparked the Golden Eagles. He scored 10 points in a span of less than 2 1/2 minutes in the win over Duke.

James missed his first six shots Monday and didn't have a basket until his big finish.

``When the time comes I'm going to try to make the plays,'' he said. ``They always say great players make big plays.''

James was named to the all-tournament team in last year's Blue & Gold Classic by averaging 15.5 points despite shooting 36.0 percent (9-of-25).

Northwestern State, which has never faced Marquette, has won three straight after an 89-86 victory over Centenary on Tuesday. Trey Gilder scored 25 points and fellow reserve Keithan Hancock added 11 for the Demons.

``We had some guys who didn't have their best nights offensively, but Trey and Keithan really helped compensate,'' coach Mike McConathy said. ``That's the strength of our team, knowing that somewhere on that roster there are guys who can step up and answer the bell when we need it.''

The Demons beat Iowa in the first round of the NCAA tournament last season and are playing a Big East team for the second time this year. Northwestern State built an 11-point halftime lead in a 100-87 loss at Louisville on Nov. 18.

The winner of this game will play Princeton or North Dakota State in Saturday's title game.

by: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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