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Courtside Players Club (12/9/23)

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8:30PM EST: Rutgers/Seton Hall Under 131 (3 Units)

This local rivalry game is going to be a grind it our affair. Rutgers ranks 275th shooting 30.6% from deep and Seton Hall 259th shooting 31.3%. Rutgers is shooting just 40.4% from the floor which ranks 321st. Seton Hall more respectable at 46.7% (98th). Seton Hall has been tremendous from the FT stripe, but Rutgers does a good job keeping teams off the line. They allow just 15.8 FT attempts per game, tied 61st. Rutgers on the other hand, like the rest of their shooting, ranks 308th shooting 65.2% from the charity stripe.

Without elite shooting both teams move at a slower pace. Rutgers ranks 234th in possessions per game and Seton Hall 264th. When the Seton Hall defense has struggled it's come against 3-PT shooting teams. Baylor, USC, and Iowa all shot well from outside against them. That's just not Rutgers game and they really lack creators on offense. Going back their last few they've scored 57, 58, and 61.

The Rutgers defense is very good and thanks in large part to Clifford Omoruyi. The 4th year 6'11 Center is one of the best defensive rim protectors in the game today. He's averaging 3.4 of Rutgers 5.8 blocks per game. He's also had more than 3 fouls in a game just once all season. He averages 26.4 minutes per game this season after averaging 30.4 last year. Rutgers ranks 16th in opponent effective field goal %.

Just going to be tough for both teams to facilitate points today. There will be plenty of long, empty possessions. Going to be a packed prudential center too which will just add to the intensity of this game. Big East officials rarely interrupt this type of environment and turn it into a ref show.

9:00PM EST: Marquette -21 (3 Units)

The Golden Eagles just blew out a good Texas team by 21 points and we like them to do it again. Timing and Location matters. This game's an 8PM local start on Saturday Night. The stadium fills when you're one of the best teams in the Nation, but this will be a fully packed house on the weekend. It's going to help Marquette keep the energy up to cover the larger spread.

Marquette was off to a sluggish start from beyond the Arc to start the year. Then they played Texas and went 14/30 from deep. Tyler Kolek and Kam Jones combined to shoot 9/17 from deep. Those 2 are both shooting over 45% from deep but it's the supporting cast that was sluggish. They're starting to turn it on, and we like them to stay hot again today. Notre Dame's defense isn't terrible, but Marquette can just attack you in so many ways.

Defense will be the reason Marquette covers this game. They just have an incredible tenacity to them and apply constant pressure. They record steals on 12.2% of opposing possessions which ranks 36th in College Basketball. Texas looked lost for most of the game, even Kansas couldn't figure them out. Even in their loss at Wisconsin the Badgers didn't shoot well, they just had 33 rebounds to Marquette’s 18 and 28 FT attempts. Road woes, part of College Sports. That was the game prior to Texas.

Marquette's also been through a gauntlet already. They've played Illinois, UCLA, Kansas, Purdue, Wisconsin, and Texas. The Notre Dame offense they're tasked with shutting down is plain terrible. 301st in FG%, 332nd in 3-PT%, 310th in Assists per game, and 230th in Assist/Turnover ratio. Freshman Markus Burton is their leading scorer and he's shooting 40.4% from the floor.

The Irish resume is just plain ugly. Their 4 wins are 70-63 over Niagara, 66-64 over a bad Oklahoma State team, 75-55 over MD Eastern Shore, and 86-65 over Western Michigan. Not a single impressive win. Their losses, 61-71 to Western Carolina, 59-83 to Auburn, 53-65 to South Carolina, and 49-62 to Miami.

Marquette is one of the best teams in the Nation. They were last year and returned just about everyone. Their dismantling of Texas is who they are and what they're capable of. There's always the chance of a hangover following a big game like that but with the prime-time local start they should be off and rolling. Their next game isn't until Thursday and it's against Saint Thomas so there's no look ahead spot here. They played their best game of the year last time out and they'll look to build on that as conference play approaches.


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