CBB Top 25: Marquette Makes Move Before March Madness

By Mark Fordham
 |  3 mins
8E3DFB6F-93D4-478C-99D9-112C2BB6C04E  Fact Checked by Sean O'Neill
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CBB Top 25: Marquette Makes Move Before March Madness

With March Madness just two weeks away, teams will use the college basketball conference tournaments to gain momentum for the big show. The top of the rankings table didn’t see too many changes this week. The movement came between sixth and 25th place in the AP Top 25.

During this period, the top teams likely won’t take too many risks and try to keep everyone healthy. It’s best to look away from them if you’re looking at college basketball betting sites during conference tournaments. The teams below will be grinding for a better seed – they’re the ones to watch out for. 

Marquette Golden Eagles 

Marquette got some big wins in Week 17 to climb four places to sixth in the country. The first was a 69-68 win over No. 19 Xavier, and the second was a 73-71 win over Creighton, which is just outside the Top 25. Both matches went down to the final minutes and served as excellent preparation for March Madness. 

Marquette could face the same opposition in the conference tournament, and games will be played with the same intensity right till the final seconds of the match. The Golden Eagles came out on top both times and will have a spring in their step in the next couple of weeks. They’ve peaked at the right time and are certainly a team to think about when making college basketball picks at US betting apps.

Virginia Cavaliers 

The Virginia Cavaliers dropped seven places to 13th after consecutive losses to Boston College and North Carolina. The manner of the defeats was the most concerning aspect. 

Virginia lost 63-48 to Boston College and 71-63 to North Carolina – both of which are unranked. The losses were quite one-sided and resurfaced doubts about the team’s ceiling. The Cavaliers lack a proper shooter – Armaan Franklin has done fine with 12.4 points per game this season, but that isn’t good enough for a team hoping to go deep into March Madness or if you’re looking for consistent college basketball player prop wins.

They’ve averaged just 68.1 points per game and ranked 75th on offense in the nation, according to KenPom rankings. This is a team to fade on USA sports betting sites as we head towards March Madness.

UConn Huskies 

UConn had a terrible run a few weeks back with three straight defeats but recovered with impressive wins over Marquette and Providence in recent weeks to rise to 14th. UConn started the season on fire – they were unbeaten in their first 14 games. They’ve lost seven matchups since but are finding their feet again. 

Adama Sanogo’s performances have been a big plus for the program. He has shot effectively this season, with 16.9 points per game at 58.7 percent from the field. He has also managed 7.2 rebounds per game. If he can keep this up in March Madness, UConn will cause problems for most teams and be dark-horse contenders on betting apps.

San Diego State Aztecs 

San Diego State has quietly gone about its business this season. The Aztecs have only lost five games all season and are on a six-game winning streak. They climbed four places to 18th in the rankings this week and look set to win their next two matches against Boise State and Wyoming. 

However, they don’t have the firepower on offense to make a push in March Madness. Matt Bradley’s 13 points per game average isn’t bad, but that isn’t going to be enough against some of the stronger teams in the country. They don’t give away a lot of points, and Nathan Mensah deserves a lot of credit for that with six rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game this season, but the best offenses will break San Diego State down.

Maryland Terrapins  

Maryland won its first eight games of the season and followed that up with three straight losses. Since then, the team has been inconsistent. The Terrapins climbed back into the Top 25 this week thanks to some impressive wins over Purdue and Northwestern. 

Beating Purdue by 14 points was a big surprise, giving them the confidence to dominate Northwestern 75-59. Jahmir Young and Julian Reese have carried the team all season. Young has averaged 16.2 points, 3.3 assists, and 1.2 steals per game, and Reese has averaged 7.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game this season. Maryland can be frightening if the two stars are playing well. 

It has gained form at the right time in the season and is certainly a team to watch out for if you’re perusing betting sites for dark-horse picks. The Terrapins have had other big wins this season against the likes of Indiana and Ohio State as well – they enjoy the big occasions, and March Madness is full of them. 

There wasn’t a lot of wildness this week – this is the calm before the storm. Most teams will have one eye on March Madness. Houston looks like it will have the best record heading into March Madness and continue to be the outright favorite to win it all. Losing just two games all season is a remarkable feat. Teams are still attempting to enter the Top 25 – there’s still a lot to play for as we head into the final stretch of games. 

Mark spent over a decade as a sports reporter and editor with Goal.com and Bleacher Report. He is now a Content Editor at Bookmakers.com covering all manner of sports from the Premier League and cricket to the NBA and NFL.

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