Marquette Favored Over NC State in Opening Odds for Sweet 16 March Madness Game

The No. 2 seed Marquette Golden Eagles are favored over the upstart No. 11 seed NC State Wolfpack in the Sweet 16.
Marquette Golden Eagles forward David Joplin (23) and Marquette Golden Eagles guard Tyler Kolek (11)
Marquette Golden Eagles forward David Joplin (23) and Marquette Golden Eagles guard Tyler Kolek (11) / Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA

The No. 2 seed Marquette Golden Eagles will be moving onto the Sweet 16 after defeating the No. 10 seed Colorado Buffaloes, 81-77 on Sunday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

The Golden Eagles were in a hard-fought battle against the upset-minded Buffaloes, who beat the seventh-seed Florida Gators, 102-100, on Friday in the first round. Shaka Smart’s crew got a good performance from Tyler Kolek, who dropped 21 points, 11 assists, and five rebounds.

Marquette had five players score in double figures while shooting 61.9 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from beyond the arc. 

The Golden Eagles will play the upset-minded No. 11 seed NC State Wolfpack in the Sweet 16 on Friday at American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. FanDuel Sportsbook has Marquette listed as a 7.5-point favorite and -315 on the moneyline over the Wolfpack.

It’s not a surprise to see the Golden Eagles as a favorite, who were one of the best teams in the country and Big East this season. ‘

Marquette lost in the Big East championship game to the UConn Huskies, who are the reigning NCAA champions. However, they are a threat to win the national title as they have +15/1 odds (+1500) and the second-best odds (+180) to win the South region.

The Golden Eagles are led by dynamic guards Kam Jones and Kolek, who have played a large role in the team’s success.

Jones is averaging 17.1 points per game on 50.2 percent shooting from the field and 41.2 percent from three-point range this season. Meanwhile, Kolek is averaging 15.1 points, 7.8 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game.

Heading into the Sweet 16 next week, Marquette cannot take NC State lightly, who’ve won seven consecutive games, including the ACC title game against North Carolina Tar Heels. NC State is led by forward DJ Burns Jr, who is averaging 20 points and six rebounds per game in the NCAA tournament.

However, Marquette cannot focus its attention on Burns as NC State has an underrated scorer in DJ Horne, who has struggled offensively through the first two games of the tourney but can go off at any moment.

The Wolfpack are a battle-tested team and aren’t afraid of the moment, but Marquette is the more well-rounded team and should have a good shot to go to the Elite 8.

If you're looking to back the Golden Eagles, or make any other Sweet 16 wager, make sure to check out FanDuel Sportsbook. New users can snag $200 in bonus bets by signing up, making an initial deposit of at least $10, and winning your first bet of at least $5. Check out this link to cash in today!

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