Team: Marquette Golden Eagles
Head Coach Buzz Williams
Record: 17-14 (9-9 Big East)
- Davante Gardner: 15.1 PPG, 5.7 Rbs, Big East 6th Man of the Year
- Jamil Wilson: 11.9 PPG, 5.9 Rbs, .323 3fg%
- Todd Mayo: 11.0 PPG, .811 ft%, .451 fg%
Marquette’s Season: Marquette has been hovering around in the middle of the Big East pack, and will need to win the Big East Tournament if they have any hopes of being included in the NCAA March Madness Tournament. After suffering back-to-back heart breaking losses against the Providence Friars and St. John’s Red Storm, each by one point, the Golden Eagles look to start their dream run against Xavier Thursday night in their opening Big East matchup.
Marquette’s Road: Both teams on paper look very similar (besides records), and are trending downward with their current losing streaks in the final stretch of Big East play. Xavier is currently on the bubble along with several other Big East teams, and will need this win and possibly another in order to punch their ticket for the tournament. Look for Xavier to play a very hard and intense game, but have faith Golden Eagles fans. In most of the Big Eat games Buzz and his boys have not gone quietly. Marquette did win their last meeting (81-72) with Davante Gardner and Jamil Wilson having both a big impact on that game, so look for them again in what should be a classic entertaining Big East contest.
Marquette’s Prospects: If you are part of the Golden Eagle following you know that for a majority of games Marquette is always right there. Just look at their 2-4 OT record, and even their six point loss in Madison to the then #8 Badgers. A game in which Jamil Wilson’s late three-pointer (22 total) brought them within three in the closing minutes. This team has showed a lot of grit, but wins have come in rather spotty form. They will need to have some other scoring come to the forefront rather than just the usual names if they plan to win the Big East Tournament. Three players that will need to step up will have to be Big East All-Rookie Team Deonte Burton, Chris Otule, and Derrick Wilson. They will need to step up their scoring department in order to give the Eagles hope of advancing.
NCAA Prospects: They are currently out of the running for the bubble teams so it will take at minimum a hard fought game in Big East finals to be considered for the bubble, but most likely a Big East championship in order to keep playing in March.
REX’s Take: Sadly, I do not picture them making it past the Musketeers of Xavier as Head Coach Chris Mack and company are hungry to ensure themselves a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Xavier is currently sitting on the bubble with Providence and St. John’s all of who will try to make a splash in the Big East Tournament.