Marquette & Mississippi State the Right Plays in NIT Quarterfinals

Willie Bee

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 1:09 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2018 1:09 PM UTC

A pair of 2 vs. 4 matchups are on the NCAA basketball betting card for Tuesday as the NIT heads towards next week’s championship at Madison Square Garden.

No. 4 Penn State (22-14 SU, 18-13 ATS) at No. 2 Marquette (21-13 SU, 16-17 ATS)No. 4 Mississippi State (24-11 SU, 16-14 ATS) at No. 2 Louisville (22-13 SU, 18-15 ATS)Free NCAAB Picks: Marquette -2½; Mississippi State +185Best Lines Offered: 5Dimes

Four on two might sound like a lot of fun when it comes to basketball, and a few other things in life. But in the case of Tuesday night’s NIT Quarterfinals, I personally don’t find anything amusing about the two matchups between No. 4 seeds and No. 2 seeds.

The first of two nights of action in the NIT’s version of the Elite Eight finds us in Wisconsin and Kentucky after the top seeds – and two of the tournament’s favorites – on the left side of the bracket were taken out. Tonight’s winners will advance to New York City and square off in Madison Square Garden a week from tonight.

Penn State & Marquette Collide in 1995 NIT Rematch

Tuesday night begins with a 7 (ET) tip at the old Bradley Center in Milwaukee where Marquette hosts Penn State. The schools are meeting for the first time in 23 years, their last encounter during the semis of the ’95 NIT, and it’s the Golden Eagles who are favored by 2½ at 5Dimes with 153 for the total.

Penn State pulled off an upset to get to this point, beating No. 1 seed Notre Dame in South Bend on Saturday, 73-63. The Nittany Lions were getting 5½ at the closing bell, and led the entire way behind Tony Carr’s 24 points, 10 of those coming at the charity stripe. Marquette is coming off a 101-92 victory over Oregon, the Golden Eagles breaking open a close game against the Ducks to race to a 20-point halftime lead.

Marquette’s 101 points marked a season high for a team that already ranked in the top 25 nationally in scoring, and I like the Eagles at home in this one.

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Here's a look back at Sunday's thrilling win at Baylor. #HailState🐶

— MSU Men's Basketball 🏀 (@HailStateMBK) March 19, 2018

Louisville Hosts Mississippi State in Nightcap

For a team that didn’t want to be in this tournament to begin with, the Louisville Cardinals are instead playing like they want to win it. As a result, KFC Yum! Center gets one to host one more contest as the Mississippi State Bulldogs come to Louisville for a tip-off expected a minute past 9 PM (ET). A quick check of the college basketball odds finds the Cards favored by 5 with 144 for the scoreboard target.

After trailing Northern Kentucky in the opener, Louisville rallied for a 66-58 decision and then dispatched Middle Tennessee 84-68 for a second tourney cover. Mississippi State is coming off a wild one Sunday in Waco against top seed Baylor, Quinndary Weatherspoon’s trey at the buzzer lifting the Bulldogs to a 78-77 upset after they blew an 18-point lead in the second quarter. I’m adding Mississippi State on the money line to my free college basketball picks.

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