Busting Brackets

NCAA Tournament: Dynamic backcourt duo of Tyler Kolek and Kam Jones keeps Marquette surging into Sweet 16

Colorado v Marquette
Colorado v Marquette / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Shaka Smart's Golden Eagles are surging into the Sweet 16 after they outlasted a crafty and stubborn Colorado team, 81-77. Marquette will now head to Dallas, Texas, with a meeting with the 11-seeded, NC State Wolfpack, which seems to be America's team.

Marquette will have their hands full with the three-headed monster the Wolfpack present inside. Led by DJ Burns and Mohamed Diarra, and also gets key contributions from Ben Middlebrooks off the bench. Burns averages 12.8 PPG and 4.1 REB per game and is the catalyst for NC State whenever they need a bucket. Burns' big frame makes him a force in the paint, and Oso Ighodaro will have a full-time job as the opposition. 

However, no matter who Marquette sees in this tournament, they always have a fighting chance when you have a backcourt like they do. One of the best all-around point guards and players in the country, Tyler Kolek, and then Kam Jones, who is as pure as they come when you break down his offensive skillset. Jones is a certified shot maker, and he's perfectly paired with Kolek as one of the country's best dynamic duos. 

On the season, Kolek averaged 15.3 PPG, 4.8 REB, and 7.9 AST per game, which is first in the entire country. In the Round of 32 victory, Kolek put up 21 points and 11 assists. He is the first player to have 10+ points, 5+ rebounds, and 10+ assists in back-to-back NCAA Tournament games since Jason Kidd. 

Now, Kam Jones, on the other hand, can score from anywhere at any time. Jones has the ability to create shots off the dribble, hit contested shots, and finish around the rim. Jones leads Marquette in scoring with 17.9 PPG on 50.5% shooting from the field. He is also shooting 40.1% from the three-point line this season. 

Jones contributed 18 points on Sunday against Colorado and has had to be the catalyst for this team over the last few weeks when Kolek was out due to injury. Jones led Marquette to the Big East title game. Although they came up short against UConn, there is still a possibility they will meet them again down the road if they can handle the business that is in front of them. 

Next. Ranking the Sweet 16 teams. Ranking the Sweet 16 teams. dark

The plethora of scorers that NC State has will cause issues for Marquette, but if the Golden Eagles can get contributions from David Joplin and Chase Ross as they did vs the Buffaloes, Marquette could march their way to the Elite 8.