This year the Big East had 11 teams in the Tournament, which as crazy as that is, also means the odds of two Big East Teams playing other are greater than normal. As "rare" as that's supposed to be, UConn also beat Cincinnati yesterday in the 2nd round. Mathematics and probability aside, you'd think the selection committee would map it out better so same conference match ups wouldn't really happen, but then we have to remember that whatever bracket Duke is in has to be an easy road, so that limits possibilities I suppose. But anyway, here we have it, Big East vs. Big East, Syracuse vs. Marquette, back for National Marquette Day 2 in the NCAA Tournament.
As far as I can gather, National Marquette Day is just a day when the university organizes game watching meet ups in 26 of the 50 United States and the United Kingdom, apparently. If that's the only logic behind it, then I would say if National Syracuse Day was a thing, it would have happened 34 times this year, and without the University's help.
National Marquette Day in January was not a successful day for Syracuse. We lost to the Eagles 70-76 in our only meeting for the season and capped off our 4-game losing streak. It also tied the series between the schools at 3-3 since Marquette joined the Big East. The Orange will be looking for a bit of revenge this evening. Even though the schools are 3 and 11 seeds, that kind of means nothing today since we all know that in the Big East, everything is a "dogfight", a "battle, "war", and whatever other descriptive fighting words we hear all season long about the difficulty in the conference.
To get here today, Marquette upset Xavier in the first round, 66-55.
Tonight should be nothing if not a good game. Both teams wanting that Sweet 16 bid, and both capable. We'll be watching Darius Johnson-Odum for Marquette along with Jimmy Butler, their two big scorers, and hoping our zone does it's job. Our eyes however, will be watching Scoop Jardine, and hoping that wrist is in good shape from his big hit on Friday. It's always a scary thought to think, "This game comes down to Scoop."