A very good slate of basketball tonight for people residing in Wisconsin due to the Badgers and Golden Eagles in action and for the nation with Georgetown-Syracuse.
The Badgers have one of their toughest of the remaining games tonight at the barn in Minnesota. The only losses at home for Minnesota have been a buzzer beating three by Michigan State and an eight point loss to Michigan. All teams are better at home, but Minnesota takes that to a different level. The older gymnasiums are always a little tougher to play at and Minnesota has a very underrated home court.
Minnesota is a little underrated itself. According to Kenpom stats the Gophers are the 44th rated team according to offensive and defensive effeciency which puts them ahead of Connecticut, Illinois, North Carolina, Florida, and Memphis. Some of those teams are down, but those are teams with a ton of final fours under their belt in the last decade. Meaning, Minnesota is better than people realize.
The Badgers get back Jon Leuer tonight, which is huge. Leuer will get at least 6 games in before the Madness starts which should allow him to get back into his groove.
Currenlty, Wisconsin stands as the #3 team in efficiency. Meaning, they are very good.
Marquette is sneaky, they are much better than people realize. They are the 20th rated team in efficiency, #9 in offense. They are ranked ahead of teams like Michigan State, Clemson, Tennessee, and Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh happens to be the team they play tonight and they are the ranked team.
Marquette has five losses where one basket, be it a two or three, could have won them the game. They are scrappy, and will not go down easy. And they have won five in a row.
Tonight they make it six.
Syracuse – Georgetown
In the best matchup of the night, on paper, two top ten teams square off with Syracuse at Georgetown.
Georgetown is an enigma, and I think their inconsistency will kill them in the tourney. They have blown out Duke and Villanova, but lost to Rutgers and South Florida. Their efficiency ranking is #19 which explains a lot. Elite talent, but something is missing, and that something seems to be consistency. Inconsistent teams do not fare well in the early stages of the tournament because they overlook the wrong team. If this team can get past the second round they could be a nightmare.
Syracuse is rated #5 in efficiency. They are good at offense and defense and have a shot at a one seed.
I think Syracuse will be better in the tourney, but tonight it will be Georgetown.