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Marquette Impresses NCAA Tournament Fans

By T.J. Bryce | Posted Thursday, April 4

In October, the Golden Eagles were predicted to finish in the middle of the Big East and possibly end up in the NIT, not the big dance. Now here we are in early April, their season over, and the Golden Eagles were one of the last eight teams still standing. There are 348 NCAA Division I college basketball teams. Marquette was somewhere in around 100 to start the season, and they were one of the last eight teams still standing. Just think about that one for a moment.

Doesn't mean they didn't take their fan base for a wild ride though, and the term wild ride is probably an understatement. On Thursday of opening weekend of the NCAA tournament, it almost felt as if the Golden Eagles were the underdog in that game. Davidson controlled the game the entire way, and were the ones who were actually doing the pushing and shoving in this game, not Marquette. Marquette found themselves down 7 late, and at the point they needed to make threes to win the game, and of course, the Golden Eagles are one of the worst teams in the nation at three point shooting. Guess what, they made three contested 3's, but, they still needed one more shot which Vander Blue got up, BARELY, before time expired. Marquette followed up their emotional 59-58 win over Davidson with a 74-72 win over Butler, yes, that Butler. No, not Niles from “The Nanny”, but the college basketball team that isn't afraid of anyone.

Marquette Versus Miami

On the following Thursday Marquette faced another tough test, the Miami Hurricanes, who I picked to win the national championship in my bracket and came away with an impressive win. Despite all of the so called deficiencies of this team, the Golden Eagles were one win away from the Final Four. It was last Saturday that reality finally, at long last, after five months that seemed like dream, set in. Marquette struggled the whole day against Syracuse shooting the ball and managed just 39 points against the legendary 2-3 matchup zone that has been the backbone of the Orangemen for decades.

They didn't walk away with the national championship, but the Golden Eagles can walk away from this season with their heads held high as they accomplished something that nobody in America thought they could do. Undermanned and undersized from day one, the Golden Eagles were one of the last eight in America left standing when it was all said and done. As the old saying goes “it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog”. Let's all give them a round of applause.

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