Marquette (24-9) slides in as a #6 seed in the South Regional to face the #11 seed Kentucky Wildcats (18-12) on Thursday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The winner gets #3 seed Stanford. 2008 marks the third consecutive NCAA appearance for Marquette, something it had not done in 28 years -- as we point out in this jog down memory lane.
The UK game looks to be a good matchup for Marquette. Kentucky turns the ball over more than just about any team in the nation, the Wildcats struggle on the offensive glass, and they will be without their best player - freshman big man Patrick Patterson (who averaged 16 points and nearly 8 boards before his season-ending injury in late February). We'll analyze the matchups throughout the week, so check back often.
This will be the 10th matchup between MU and UK in the NCAA tournament. MU fans fondly remember the last two games -- a win in 1994 to send the Golden Eagles to the Sweet 16, and a win in 2003 to punch a ticket to the Final Four. The 7,000+ UK fans online at their Rivals site might have a different perspective.
The Sporting News wonders if this is the year that MU can break through and earn an NCAA win - - check out their South Regional capsule. Reaction at MUScoop here.
Once again the Big East sent more teams to the tournament than any other league -- eight (GU #2, Louisville #3, Pitt #4, UConn #4, ND #5, WVU #7, Villanova #12). The Big Televen sent just four teams.
Game times will be announced on Monday. We'll keep you posted.
Sunday, March 16, 2008