"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Marquette loses heartbreaker at the buzzer

In what would have been the largest comeback in Big East Tournament History, Marquette lost by one point to #5 seeded Villanova, 76-75 on a last second tip-in.

Marquette battled back from a 17 point deficit to take the lead with 90 seconds to play, but couldn't hold on.

Jimmy Butler had a wonderful game, with 19 points and Wes and Lazar snared a double-doubles, but that was not enough to eek out a victory.

Heartbreaking. With the loss of Dominic James .. this season is becoming the year of woulda, coulda. These past 6 games would have been dramatically different with #1 on the court.

Now the waiting begins.

AP Recap
Box Score


goodlknx1 said...

Dear Jerel McNeal,

Please play defense. It would have been appreciated and helpful, especially on the last play in which your man back cut for the (wide-open game-winning) shot.

Marquette Student/Fanatic

P.S. We played much better and it definitely was a sigh of relief at times to see our team clicking, but we cannot have defensive letdowns and wasted offensive sets this late in the season.

The Chuter said...

After a fabulous year, what a horrible 40 seconds for Jerel. First, he shoots a contested lay-up, with at least 10 seconds on the shot clock, and then he's caught napping at the buzzer.

Let’s hope for a 6 seed, and all be glad that Tom Crean is not on our sidelines to choke-up the NCAA as only he can do.

goodlknx1 said...

Thank you for making me smile and remember the good things-We can be happy that Two-Time Tommy isn't our coach anymore.

I think that a 7 seed is more likely. Hopefully the selection committee takes into account that unlike the quality and difficulty of the the top teams we face in the big-east, other conferences will likely play comparable competition only two or three times.

VUhoops.com said...

Tough game, but your squad has a lot of ball and should hold their heads up high.

Good luck in the NCAAs

Hilltopper82 said...

I'm absolutely going out of my mind with the way this group of seniors is unable to close out a 1-possession game in the final minute. The inablity to display reasonable amounts of basketball instinct are inexcusable.

Look at the proof - last year's home game vs Georgetown; the game at ND last year; the Stanford game should have been won in regulation; this year's Syracuse game; they should have won at Louisville who was very vulnerable that afternoon; and today's game is the "frosting on the cake".

I would welcome anyone to tell me when they have seen a senior anywhere else have such a terrible performance from a concentration standpoint in the last minute of a game. He didn't even try to roll off a screen when he launched that ill-fated 3 with under a minute to go. Just madening.

Outside of this year's NC State game, I will always think of these seniors as unable to win a close, 1-2 point game down the stretch. Where is my thinking incorrect??

Tim DeRoche said...

Love the kid, but that was a serious defensive breakdown on the last play. And didn't he have somebody open under the hoop when he shot his off-balance, double-teamed lay-up?

Wes and Jerel have to step up, if anything fun is going to happen.

Kevin said...

I thought they played with a lot of heart and thats all you can ask.

MUWarrior83 said...

Tough loss for MU today thanks in part to the highly suspect officiating from the Big East refs.
I am not crying sour grapes here. I've watched as many Big East Conf. games this year as MU games and the officiating has been just awful this year. The inconsistency is intolerable. The league commissioner needs to give all of these guys performance reviews and doc their per game pay for grievious poor judgment.
Broadcaster Bill Raftery put it best the other night when he lamented that "these kids have poured their hearts into this season for the past 3 months, the refs owe it to these kids to get the calls right." Amen Bill, that's an awesome viewpoint.
I just looked at the TV just now with Pitt-WVU playing and the commentators are ragging on the refs for a technical foul by Pitt's big man Blair over a minor forearm push-off yet earlier Blair ducks his shoulder underneath the basket and blasts the WVU player off the spot yet no foul was called. They showed a veteran ref standing there looking at Blair's blast and the ref made no attempt to call a foul. This is just one example how uneven these refs call games.
I saw 2 fouls called on MU guard McNeal today that by Big East play standards (rough play) these calls wouldn't have been even considered incidental contact they were so meaningless yet they called them anyway. How do you call this ticky-tack stuff and let countless drives to the basket with obvious shot altering contact to go as no calls? How do these refs justify this inconsistency?
The refs blew it on McNeal's last drive to the basket. Contact everywhere yet not even a whistle.
I'm sorry but this poor officiating has been going on all season. If my job performance was this inconsistent at my place of employment I would be fired.
These refs change outcomes. These kids deserve better.

Chris @ IBBW said...

In all fairness, the refs were awful to both teams. It was a joke. We were laughing in the stands at them. Some of the calls on both ends were just head scratchers.

Villanova Viewpoint Publisher said...

Hello, CS Team-

I wanted to offer my congratulations to you and all the Marquette fans for how well you played today and how much it says about your program.

Obviously, that was a very difficult experience for you and your Golden Eagles today. As much fun as it is to win, you can always empathize with the team on the other end, and I understand how difficult being on the other end today would have been...

That was an incredible comeback, given the halftime deficit (and without James). You had a really good crowd there, especially given the distance from Milwaukee...

About the only solace, at least, is that the game didn't cost you a bid - you're still going to the NCAAs and nobody will want to face you. Good luck the rest of the way... (and who knows, maybe you'll have a great run...)

John said...

I know how important DJ and Jerel are to the team, but when DJ was testing the NBA draft waters, it sure seemed like he was playing for the NBA scouts versus for the team. I get this same feeling regarding Jerel now. If thats the case, expect more quick jacked up shots from Jerel and probably an early exit in the NCAA tourney.

Gene Frenkle said...

Please spare us all the, "Thank God Tom's not here for a one-and-done tourney run" bull shite.

Buzz has proven he's not very adept at putting his players in a position to succeed.

No, he doesn't miss that shot or miss him assignment on defense, but his sets and play calling to end games has been atrocious of late.

So all Crean haters, save it for now. We got some tourney games to win...and a six seed to pray for.

James said...

Can someone please tell the Villanova fans to stop posting on this blog. Their congrats on a well played game is about as helpful as an empty tube of lotion.

I am beginning to wonder whether Marquette has some strange less than 1 minute left in the game curse?

These types of mental mistakes like in this past Villanova game or the Sycracuse games are simply UNACCEPTABLE. This was the team to rival 2003, this was the team with title hopes, this is the team that seems to find a way to blow it!

I am hoping that our players learn a huge lesson very quickly because its evident we still have the talent to compete with ANYONE, but do we have the mental toughness to not blow it? I hope so.

Go Marquette.

MUJourn said...

John, thank you. Finally, a comment on McNeal from someone who has stopped drinking the Kool Aid long enough to state the obvious -- indifferent defensively, selfish shot selection, and a palpable "me first" attitude -- and that was before yesterday's debacle. Most likely, it dates back to early January and the first time that McNeal probably saw his name and the phrase "under consideration for national player of year" in the same story. It's unfortunate for the team and Buzz, quite simply, did not have the courage to call him on it early and right the ship. Buzz lost some credibility there -- next year could be a remake of "The Emperor Has No Clothes" when it comes to Buzz.

Matt said...

"Buzz has proven he's not very adept at putting his players in a position to succeed."

Whoa, Gene! I have to part ways with you on that one. Buzz didn't put the defense out of position. So is it the players' effort that made the comeback and the coach that didn't play defense on the last play? Unless you have evidence, like Coach Crean's adamant defense of his decision to NOT FOUL when up three with a few seconds left in a game last year, I'm going to chalk that comment up to feeling upset about the tough loss.

It all comes down to Jerel for me. He gives you flashes of brilliance and flashes of complete stupidity all in the span of 30 seconds on any given night. Those two shots with plenty of time on the shot clock have nothing to do with coaching.

Finally, let's not forget who brought Jimmy Butler to MU. If Jimmy is any indication of Buzz's eye for talent and grooming ability, we'll be in great shape down the road.

Buzz and this team surpassed my expectations for this season. The squad's not an elite-level group of players — as is painfully evident by not pulling off one upset this season. I'm excited and proud to cheer on MU next week — for the fourth year in a row.

The Chuter said...

Thanks Gene for reminding all of us with some history on this board of your Tom Crean devotion.

Actually Buzz had the team in position to win; it was Jerel who was playing space, and not his man, that lost the game. And let's keep in mind that Wes, or perhaps "Less" Matthews was 1-10 from the field. Seniors??? A sophomore JUCO made them look like high school seniors.

I’m just shocked you didn’t surface your Cottingham rage again.

Yes, we have some games to win, but every day without Tom Crean associated with our great university is a great day.

Jacob said...

I'm with Kevin on this - lets remember that these students played their hearts out and gave us one of the most entertaining halves of basketball all year.