LOUISVILLE — There's plenty of blue — Kentucky blue — in the crowd here at the KFC Yum! Center.
No. 14 seed BYU and No. 3 Marquette are set to tip off here in about 30 minutes and Kentucky fans are out in full force, killing time before their Wildcats meet Western Kentucky after the Cougar-Golden Eagle game.
Tipoff for the BYU-Marquette tilt is set for approximately 12:45 p.m., MT, and will be televised by CBS.
The Cougars are coming off an amazing comeback at the First Four in Dayton, rallying from a 25-point first-half deficit.
Is BYU exhausted from the effort that they had to expend to get past Iona? Or do the Cougars have an advantage since they have a game under their belt? Can BYU built off its momentum?
We'll find out soon.
Marquette, which is a six-point favorite, finished the season ranked No. 11 in the polls and boast the Big East Conference player of the year, forward Jae Crowder. The Golden Eagles are athletic and physical.
BYU coach Dave Rose said his team must prevent Marquette from driving to the rim, which will be a tough challenge. The Cougars need to play strong help defense today, and Noah Hartsock and Brandon Davies need to stay out of foul trouble.
While BYU overcame long odds in coming back from 25 down against Iona, it already faces long odds again today against Marquette. In NCAA Tournament history, the No. 3 seed boasts an overwhelming 92-16 record against the No. 14 seed.
For the Cougars, their role is reversed from a year ago, when they were a No. 3 seed playing No. 14 seed Wofford.
The winner of the BYU-Marquette game meets No. 6 Murray State, which defeated Colorado State, 58-41, earlier today. That game is set for Saturday in the Round of 32.