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College basketball: Utah vs no. 7 San Diego State

No. 7 San Diego State (29-2, 14-2, MWC) holds a whopping – 16 spread against Utah (13-17, 6-10 MWC) at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada in Thursday night’s game. San Diego State, which only suffered two losses all year, is having its best season in school history.

The Aztecs’ two losses both came at the hands of BYU (considered a top 10 team) by way of a 71-58 loss in January and a 80-67 loss two weeks ago. However, it remains to be seen whether SDSU can make a deep run in the NCAA tournament as the team has been relatively untested, having faced only one top 25 team other than BYU (against Gonzaga).

The Mountain West Conference is one of the lightest conferences in the country. Powerhouses from the Big East, for instance, have had to contend with eight or seven top 25 teams all season.

The Aztecs are coming off two straight wins against Wyoming and Colorado State and claimed its second Mountain West Conference regular-season title. They last won the regular season title in 2005-2006.

The second-seeded Aztecs have won four straight against seventh-seeded Utah, the latter is expected to play without its best player. Will Clyburn, who scores 17 points per contest, has an injured right heel. Utah last beat SDSU in the 2009 tournament championship game.

For SDSU, guard D.J. Gay averages 11.7 points per game while forward / center Kawhi Leonard typically contributes around 14 points and 13 rebounds per contest. Oddsmakers are expecting the Aztecs to dominate on Thursday, giving SDSU a – 16 spread in today’s college basketball betting.

Marquette vs #14 Louisville

The Big East conference quarterfinals takes place tonight at the Madison Square Garden in New York. Marquette (20-13, 9-9 Big East) faces powerhouse No. 14-ranked Louisville (23-8, 12-6 Big East). Thursday’s game could see a lot of fireworks: both teams are among the highest scoring college basketball teams in the nation. The Louisville Cardinals are looking to make a deep run into the NCAA tournament, which starts this month, and possess a – 4 spread for tonight’s game.

Marquette’s offense is ranked first in the conference at 76.7 points per game, while the Golden Eagles allow 68.7 points on defense. Louisville’s offense is fourth in the Big East – by far the most talented conference in college basketball this year – at 75.2 points per game, while the Cardinals allow 64.4 points on defense.

Marquette is a dangerous team capable of pulling off an upset against any top 25 team. Guard Jimmy Butler scores 16 points and adds 6.2 rebounds per game. The senior player stands at 6’ 7” and is often utilized as a forward swingman, giving the Golden Eagles a versatile player that could see a promising NBA career after the season is over.

Guard Darius Johnson-Odom scores 16 points per contest, forward Jae Crowder scores 11.8 points and grabs 6.9 rebounds, and guard Dwight Buycks adds 9.4 points and 3.7 assists per game. Marquette is coming off two impressive wins. Earlier this week, they defeated Providence 87-66 and beat a talented West Virginia team 67-61.

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