Underdogs all season long the Marquette Warriors will once again look to silence the doubters when they hit the floor against the Washington Huskies on Thursday. The game pits two of the hottest teams in the country, two teams that rebounded from lackluster starts to make it to tonight's NCAA Tournament opener.
After an 11-8 start the Warriors closed the season on a memorable 11-3 run through the Big East. A pre-season pick to finish 12th in the Big East the Warriors refused to wilt, mastering a unique scheme and style of play that put the team in a position to win down the stretch of nearly every game. Meanwhile the Washington Huskies, a pre-season top 25 pick, won 12 of their last 14 games including the Pac-10 Conference tournament title.
Two hot teams with two very different styles of play in what figures to be a close game.....take one more look at Rob's model for an analysis of what to look for tonight. Survive and advance.
Tipoff is scheduled for 6:20 Marquette Standard Time. If you are not sure about the television schedule for your area we have details here.
What folks are saying
- Rosiak says MU needs an aggressive DJO to advance.
- Journal-Sentinel looks at the matchups for tonight's game and gives the advantage to UW in 3 of the 4 categories.
- The Seattle Times listens to the coaches -- tonight's game is a battle of styles. Lorenzo Romar accurately sums up MU in this report.
"We're going to be facing one of the most mentally tough teams, if not the most mentally tough, that we've faced all year," coach Lorenzo Romar said. "They are a scrappy bunch. Coming out on the short end of the stick just doesn't occur to this team that we're playing. They play 40 minutes and they're going to give you everything they got until that buzzer sounds."
- USA Today delivers a feauture on Lazar.
- SPI columnist Art Thiel says U-Dub is prepared to make a statement in tonight's game.
- Herb Gould from the Chicago Sun-Times figures that "Marquette is about two things....unity and hair."
- The Associated Press looks at where/when MU and UW turned their respective seasons around.
- MU/UW at a glance from the Seattle Times
- The News Tribune revisits MU's vertically challenged roster and what that could mean for UW.
- The News Tribune looks at how MU and UW rallied from slow starts in conference play.
- The Bleacher Report previews the action tonight and calls for a Huskies upset.
- Which team would win -- the 2010 Warriors or the 2006 Warriors. The Anonymous Eagle states the case for each.
- Buzz speaks with WTMJ.
- JS has a terrific media update as well -- including a series of predictions.
- The Muncie Star Press checks in on Maurice Acker and recounts his decision to leave Ball State for Marquette.
- Acker gets more love from the Chicago Tribune.
"When you prove everybody wrong, it's the best feeling in the world," Acker said. "It's like, ‘Yeah, look at us now. We made it even when people said we'd do nothing.' I'm so proud of this team."
Let's knock'em out, Warriors