Seton Hall’s Bryce Aiken (1) shoots over DePaul’s Jalen Terry during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The No. 20 Seton Hall Pirates (11-4, 2-3 Big East) — who are one of four Big East teams currently ranked in the AP Top-25 — aim to bounce back from a disappointing loss against the Marquette Golden Eagles (11-6, 3-3 Big East) Saturday at Fiserv Forum. Tip off is at 12:00 pm ET on FS1.

Seton Hall enters the contest as slight favorites according to oddsmakers and KenPom predicts the Bucs will win 77-76.

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Seton Hall TBD -1.5 (-110) O 152.5 (-110)
Marquette TBD +1.5 (-110) U 152.5 (-110)

Odds as of January 14th, 2022 

Kevin Willard’s team allowed 96 points to the Blue Demons — easily the most points the group has allowed all season. The Bucs’ leading scorer, Jared Rhoden, had 25 points in a losing effort, while Bryce Aiken had 22.

 

Meantime, Shaka Smart’s club accounted for a season-high 27 assists in an 11-point victory over DePaul. Junior guard Greg Elliott more than tripled his usual output, racking up a career-high 25 points in the victory. Darryl Morsell added 16, while Justin Lewis and Oso Ighobaro each finished with 11.

Hitting the Rocks

Seton Hall had all nine of its rotation players available for just the second time this season. But that didn’t stop the Pirates from yielding the program’s most points in a game since a 97-93 loss to same opponent in 2019.  They rallied down the stretch to cut the DePaul lead to two in the closing seconds, but ultimately couldn’t overcome an abysmal first half that saw them outscored 52-35.

DePaul was due for a win, having lost five straight coming in. But the Demons pulled the Pirates into street ball. There were just 17 assists on 56 field goals in this game. Let’s see how this group responds to a Marquette team that, all of a sudden, has won three in a row and looks formidable. Dropping to 2-4 in the Big East standings would be a sizable hole for a group with championship aspirations.

Willard still has one of the more balanced teams in the country, as the Pirates are rated in the top-40 in five offensive categories and four defensive categories by KenPom. But the Bucs can’t sleepwalk out of the gate again.

Golden Streak

Unlike Seton Hall Thursday, Marquette overcame a listless first half to earn a victory over DePaul. Five players scored in double-figures. MU is averaging 89 points during its three-game winning streak.

Aside from all points being scored, freshman point guard Tyler Kolek has been a distributor extraordinaire. The Rhode Island native leads the conference in helpers with 6.4 dimes a game and ranks 14th nationally in the category. He had a career-high 10 against DePaul.

Freshman forward Lewis is the team’s leading scorer at 15.1 point per outing, with Morsell being the only other player in double-digits. But, this team has had contributions from multiple players of late — shooting a red-hot 55.9% over the last three.  That percentage improves to 65.5%  inside the 3-point line.

The Pick

This should be a good one, with Seton Hall’s figurative back against the wall after the DePaul loss on the road. Meanwhile, Marquette — which has already faced five nationally-ranked squads — opens a stretch of six-straight outings facing top-25 conference opponents.

While it’s tough to pick against the Pirates considering their roster depth, the performance against the Blue Demons gives me pause.

That said, I’m not sure this recent offensive explosion by Marquette is sustainable. The Bucs are the better team, so they’re the pick in this spot.

Pick: Seton Hall -1.5 (-110)





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