The quarterfinals of the 2023 Big East Tournament will begin on Thursday with a game featuring a top-10 team and a team playing what is essentially a home game. The sixth-ranked Marquette Golden Eagles are the top seed in this tournament, but they will need to overcome a stern challenge from the hometown St. John’s Red Storm to advance to the semifinal round at Madison Square Garden.
St. John’s vs Marquette Betting Pick
|ℹ️ The Pick:||St. John’s +6.5|
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This game will be played at Madison Square Garden at 12:00 PM ET on Thursday, March 9, 2023.
Why Bet on St. John’s:
✅ While technically a neutral site game, St. John’s should benefit from being on their home floor once again. They may not win this game outright, but they will be very competitive against the top seed in this conference tournament.
✅ These teams faced one another to close out their respective regular seasons, in what was a close game in Milwaukee. Marquette won that game by just two points at home, and we should see another tightly contested affair here.
✅ All of the pressure in this game will be on Marquette, as they have NCAA Tournament seeding considerations at hand this week. St. John’s will be able to play like they have nothing to lose, which will benefit them greatly.
St. John’s Red Storm: Looking For Second Win in as Many Days at MSG
The St. John’s Red Storm come into this St. John’s vs Marquette contest off of a win in the first round of the Big East Tournament over Butler. In that game, Joel Soriano delivered in a big way for the Red Storm, putting up a 19 point, 15 rebound double-double. Here, Soriano will need to once again take over to help his team get to the Big East semifinals.
Soriano played well in St. John’s regular season finale against Marquette, contributing 14 points and 11 rebounds, and making five of his eight shot attempts. But it was Dylan Addae-Wusu that kept the Red Storm in that previous matchup, as he poured in 25 points on 9/13 shooting. Offensively, it will be an all hands on deck effort if St. John’s is to stay close in this game as well.
Marquette Golden Eagles: Top Seed Takes to the Floor After First Round Bye
Marquette had an incredible regular season this year, finishing at 25-6, with a 17-3 record in Big East play. That was good enough for the Golden Eagles to win the league’s regular season title and earn the top spot in the Big East Tournament. Now, Marquette comes into New York with a target on its back, with a top-10 ranking and a ton to play for from an NCAA Tournament seeding perspective.
Offense is clearly not an issue for the Golden Eagles, as they enter conference tournament play ranked second in the Big East in scoring at 81.0 points per game. Instead, the key to this game will be their defense, which allowed five St. John’s players to score in double figures the last time these teams met. Another shaky defensive outing could end their Big East Tournament experience early, and ruin any chance this team has of earning a top-two seed for March Madness.
One question Marquette will face in this tournament is whether it is a positive to have a bye in the Big East Tournament. Under the old Big East Tournament format, the double-bye was more of a curse than a blessing. But a single bye under the current format still forces a team to stay out of action from their final regular season game on Saturday until Thursday, which is a long time between games.