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Marquette vs Vermont Prediction, Picks & Odds | NCAA Tournament

Written by: Michael Savio
Published March 13, 2023
12 min read

Friday’s NCAA Tournament action includes a matchup in the East Region between the no. 2 seed Marquette Golden Eagles and the no. 15 seed Vermont Catamounts. This is a matchup between two of the hottest teams in the country, with both the Golden Eagles and Catamounts winning their conference tournament last weekend. Nevertheless, the Golden Eagles are considered double-digit favorites to win and advance.

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Marquette vs Vermont Prediction for the 2023 NCAA Tournament

#15 Vermont Team Preview

Vermont heads into the NCAA Tournament on a 15-game winning streak. The Catamounts dominated the America East all season and haven’t lost a game since January 11. That being said, Vermont didn’t fare well early in the season against a tough non-conference schedule. In games against teams in the NCAA Tournament, Vermont was just 1-3. While that includes a two-point loss against USC and a win over Colgate, the Catamounts suffered lopsided losses early in the season against Saint Mary’s and Iona.

It’s also worth noting that Vermont nearly pulled off an upset as a no. 13 seed last year, pushing Arkansas to the brink in a 75-71 loss. Granted, the Catamounts have largely overhauled their roster since last season. But head coach John Becker has built a consistent program, taking the Catamounts to the Big Dance for the fourth time in the last seven seasons. The Catamounts have lost all three of their first-round games under Becker, but they have never lost by more than 10 points, so Vermont is unlikely to go down without a fight.

Key Players and Key Stats

The Catamounts are led by America East Player of the Year Finn Sullivan. The senior is the team’s second-leading scorer at 11.9 points per game and 4.9 rebounds per game. Vermont has two other players who average double figures, with Dylan Penn and Aaron Deloney averaging 13.5 and 11.6 points per game, respectively.

However, the heartbeat of the Catamounts is point guard Robin Duncan. Despite only averaging 7.8 points per game, Duncan earned First-Team All-America-East honors after leading the Catamounts with 7.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. Duncan is a 6’5’’ guard who is a monster on the boards and was also on the all-defensive team in the America East, contributing on both ends of the floor.

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#2 Marquette Seed Team Preview

Shake Smart’s team turned into an unstoppable force late in the season. The Golden Eagles have won 14 of their last 15 games heading into NCAA Tournament. To be fair, five of their last eight wins of the season came by two points or less. However, the Golden Eagles saved one of their best performances of the season for the Big East Tournament final, dominating Xavier 65-51, giving Marquette a ton of momentum heading into the Big Dance.

That victory gave Marquette both the Big East regular-season and tournament titles, as well as a 28-6 overall record. Five of those six losses came against teams playing in the NCAA Tournament, and five of the six losses came by five points or less, so the Golden Eagles had a chance to win all of the games they lost. Marquette finished the season with a record of 8-5 against teams in the field of 68, including two wins over Xavier, two wins over UConn, two wins over Creighton, and a dominant 96-70 early-season win over Baylor.

Key Players & Key Stats

On paper, Marquette has one of the most balanced attacks in the country, led by the backcourt duo of Kam Jones and Tyler Kolek. Jones is the leading scorer at 15 points per game, averaging 2.7 made three-pointers per game. However, it’s Kolek who is the true leader of the Marquette attack. He was a unanimous selection on the All-Big-East First-Team, averaging 13.3 points and 7.7 assists per game, as well as 1.8 steals per game on the defensive end.

Meanwhile, the Marquette frontcourt has a trio of standout performers. Oso Ighodaro joined Jones on the All-Big-East Second Team thanks to his 11.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Oliver-Maxence Prosper was the team’s third-leading scorer at 12.4 points per game. Finally, David Joplin was the Big East’s Sixth Man of the Year, averaging 9.3 points per game.

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Odds, Previews, Picks, Best Bets for #2 Marquette vs #15 Vermont

On paper, this might be the most compelling 2 vs 15 matchup in the NCAA Tournament this year. The Catamounts might be a little under-seeded based on their 15-game winning streak. They have a team that can knock down shots, shooting nearly 36% from the perimeter. The Catamounts also take care of the basketball, committing just 9.3 turnovers per game. Vermont also rebounds well for a smaller team and has a great defensive player in Duncan to match up against an elite point guard like Kolek.

Of course, being a no. 15 seed puts the Catamounts against a balanced and talented Marquette team. With Kolek and Jones, the Golden Eagles have two guards who can score at a high rate. Meanwhile, Ighodaro, Prosper, and Joplin are all 6’7’’ or taller, creating matchup problems for the Catamounts and potentially causing a big disparity in rebounds. Plus, the Golden Eagles rank eighth nationally in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency, so keeping the Marquette offense under wraps for 40 minutes will be tough for the Catamounts.

In the end, Vermont’s shooting ability and Marquette’s recent propensity for playing close games should help to keep the Catamounts within 10 points. But even if Vermont is able to beat the spread, an upset just isn’t in the cards. The Golden Eagles have a serious chance to do some damage in the Big Dance, and they will find a way to survive and advance past Vermont, even if they don’t cover the spread.

Marquette vs Vermont How to Watch

Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

Game Time & Date: 2:45 EST on Friday, March 17

TV Network: CBS

Streaming: NCAA March Madness Live App and Paramount Plus

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AUTHOR

Michael Savio

358 Articles

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.

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