Marquette Will Keep It Close Against No. 2 Kansas In NIT Nightcap

Willie Bee

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 2:39 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018 2:39 PM UTC

Kansas leads a strong foursome into this year’s NIT Season Tip-Off, and we have a free pick for the Jayhawks’ opening clash Wednesday night against Marquette.

Willie's NCAAB season picks record: 8-5 (+2.70 units)

Marquette (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) vs. Kansas (3-0 SU, 1-2 ATS)Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)Free NCAAB Pick: Marquette ATSBest Line Offered: Bookmaker

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Disappointed after falling short of an invite to the Big Dance in March, the Marquette Golden Eagles can make a huge statement at the NIT Season Tip-Off on Wednesday when they go up against the Kansas Jayhawks.

Both sides in this Big East-Big 12 battle are looking for their fourth wins of the season, and they’ll each get a chance to watch some of the action between their next opponents in the tourney when Louisville and Tennessee play the lead-in game on ESPN2. The college basketball odds board has Kansas on the chalk line.

Vick Red-Hot As KU Arrives In Brooklyn

Marquette came off a lopsided loss at Indiana with a bit of a sluggish effort in the first half against Presbyterian last Saturday. The Golden Eagles finally got it giong halfway through the final 20 minutes, pouring it on for a 74-55 final that fell short of the -24 spread Marquette backers were burdened with. The Hauser Brothers, Sam and Joey, came up big for Steve Wojciechowski’s team, combining for 32 points and 18 boards to help make up for a bit of an off night from Marcus Howard.

Kansas also failed to cover the last time out in an 89-76 victory vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, Bookmaker closing the Jayhawks -21. The ATS loss certainly wasn’t Lagerald Vick’s fault, the 6-foot-5 senior scoring a career-high 33 and missing a double-double by a rebound. It was the second straight 30-point effort for Vick, who Bill Self noted is “playing at a ridiculously high level." Vick connected on seven of his 12 tries from beyond the arc, the rest of the Jayhawks making just 1-of-10 and leaving nine points on the charity stripe.

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The highlight of the Thanksgiving menu for @markushoward11? Dessert.🥧

Hear his full take on who makes the best pie, and his thoughts on this week's @NITTipOff. #mubb pic.twitter.com/uJx4Yrg5aC

— MarquetteMBB (@MarquetteMBB) November 19, 2018
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First Meeting Since 2003 Final Four

It has been more than 15 years since the schools got together on the hardwood, and not nearly as much is as stake this time as when the Golden Eagles and Jayhawks clashed in the 2003 Final Four at the Superdome. That one ended in a 94-61 Kansas blowout – the Jayhawks’ sixth win in seven meetings – to easily cover a -4½ spread and just get past a 153½-point total.

There are strong "over" trends to consider, starting with final scores going past the totals in seven of Marquette’s last eight against Big 12 squads and the Jayhawks sending high-side bettors back to pay windows in 13 of their last 17 games. Scoreboard players are likely looking at the mid-150s for the target, and I’m looking for Marquette to hang close enough for a cover with my college basketball pick.

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