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March 3, 2007

Countdown to MU

Filed under: Basketball,Big East,Conference,Opponent(s) — Dennis @ 12:57 pm

We’re about 8 hours away from ending another good Big East regular season. The WWL did the morning part of College Gameday from center court at the Bradley Center and I would be lying if I said Marquette’s fans didn’t impress me. I guess after going to the show myself this year, I watch the students more and the actual show less than I should.

A few notes on Marquette from the Trib.

The Golden Eagles have lost four of their past five games, and can finish no better than sixth place in the Big East standings. But don’t be deceived by the recent slide. Three of the four losses were on the road (at Georgetown, DePaul and Notre Dame), and the other came on a Louisville 3-pointer at the buzzer. Marquette beat Villanova for its lone win in the past three weeks. One problem has been wildly inaccurate shooting by Dominic James (15.2 ppg, 4.73 apg), who scored a game-high 23 points in the win over Pitt. The 5-foot-11 guard went 2 for 11 from the floor against Providence, 2 for 17 against Georgetown and 6 for 20 in the 85-73 loss to Notre Dame on Feb. 24.

BY THE NUMBERS

G Jerel McNeal Is second in the Big East in steals at 2.62 per game.

G Dominic James Is 4 for 31 from 3-point range in the past seven games.

There’s a bit of payback in the air tonight from the previous meeting.

If the Panthers want to win another conference championship they’ll have to do it against a team that has given them fits the past two years. Marquette has won two of the three meetings between the two schools since joining the conference last season and each game has been hotly contested.

The combined margin of victory for all three games is 11 points. Marquette beat Pitt in overtime, 77-74, in January at the Petersen Events Center.

“We definitely want it bad,” Graves said. “Second chances don’t come too often. We definitely have to take advantage of that and capitalize on it.”

It seems like they enjoy throwing around a certain seven letter “r” word up in Milwaukee. Is it because MU doesn’t have a true rival?

But throw in what’s at stake in the teams’ regular-season finale tonight – No. 12 Pittsburgh playing for at least a share of the Big East title and No. 20 Marquette for post-season positioning – and this fourth meeting in the past two seasons could wind up being the best one yet in what’s quickly become a full-fledged rivalry.

I sort of gave my thoughts on the whole rivalry thing back on Thursday after Tom Crean talked about it.

And if you’re not watching the UConn-Georgetown game, well, you should be. The Hoyas lead by 4 at the half on CBS. I still think the best possibility would be that both G’town and Pitt win and we get the #2 seed in the Big East Tournament — and that 7 pm start time on Thursday.

EDIT: 1:42 pm — UConn is slipping quickly so they went to the Texas-Kansas game. Looks like Georgetown will get that top seed in the BET.





It’s a good thing there’s not an Arena Football League game or preview tonight. Otherwise, who knows if ESPN would show the Pitt-Marquette game

Comment by Sean 03.03.07 @ 1:48 pm

Uconn sent the JV team again – it has to be embarassing when your game gets cut from TV in the middle because you stink the joint out so bad. I haven’t seen any Rutgers games this year, but its hard to imagine there is actually a team in our conference that plays worse than Uconn. I love it. F Uconn.

Comment by Stuart 03.03.07 @ 2:35 pm

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