"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

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Marquette v Kentucky in round one of the 2008 NCAA tournament

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.


Anonymous said...

We win 2 of 3 from Notre Dame, and they get a 5? Oh well, let's kick Kentucky like its Tony Miller time, and I think we got a shot at Stanford.

Jack 82

Anonymous said...

I have several Stanford friends are in a panic, tell me they don't think they can handle our guards. "Your guards are REAAAALLLY good, that's not the matchup we wanted," was one of the first comments. I'm not thrilled about playing Stanford in California then Texas in Houston if we get that far, but other than that can't complain on the draw.

Anonymous said...

When will we know the time of the game?

Anonymous said...

We got screwed. PLaying an SEC team in the first round, in Anaheim, far from home. Good grief, you'd think we were Austin Peay or something.

Reality check, committee! Argument 1, we beat Notre Dame twice in three chances; we beat Villanova, we beat Pitt one of two times and we defeated the Roadkill in Red.

Argument 2: We played in the Big East. We weren't a Drake or Xavier, where half the wins came against teams we'd generally not play after January 1.

Oh well, it's on to Anaheim and let's win there!

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with the draw. UK is a team that is playing very good, but they started off slow and that is why they fell to 11. Stanford in CA isn't that big of a deal...there fans don't travel well.

Anonymous said...

No difference really between a 5 or 6. In fact if we win 2 games we avoid a 1 in the sweet sixteen. The problem is Stanford. They're strong defensively and there bigs could murder us. Our guards better penetrate, shoot the ball well, and get to the line, or we're fked. First though looms Kentucky. A first round loss would really be a disaster. We better win or this will go down as one of the most disappointing season's ever. Oh, by the way if anyone has a right to complain it's Bucky. They should have been a 2 even with the abomination that is the Big Ten.

Gene Frenkle said...

Bucky can complain of Duke over itself. But the Big Ten blew balls.

As for MU, I'm disappointed we didn't get a five as I thought we deserved it. I can tolerate a six, but seeing Vandy at a four and they are #17 this week (a five seed) and didn't fare too well in their tourney. Oh well.

I like getting KY in round one. We match-up well with them. Stanford - assuming they win - is another story. It's a typical MU game where our guards stand out over their bigs. I also think that we can take them despite this.

BUT....if MU plays either first round game like the first half of Pitt or the Syracuse game we are done. Like Crean said, and the fans know, we HAVE to penetrate to make things happen. We don't do that, we die.

Looking wayyyy ahead, I'm not fearful of a Rick Barnes-coached team. Sorry, but I just don't think he's a great game coach at all.

Anonymous said...

Well, Bracketography.com has us as one of 15 teams with a better than 1% chance of winning the whole thing – albeit the 15th most likely to win.

Based on the brackets they have us with a 72% chance of beating Kentucky, 36% chance of making the final 16, 18% chance of Elite Eight, 7% chance at the Final Four, 3% chance of making the championship game and 1.03% chance of winning it all.

The top 15 teams in chance of winning it all with seeds in parenthesis are; 1 Kansas 20%, 1 Memphis 15%, 1 UNC, 1 UCLA, 2 Duke, 3 Wisconsin, 2 Texas, 2 Tennessee, 2 Georgetown, 3 Stanford, 3 Louisville, 4 Washington State, 5 Clemson, 3 Xavier, 6 Marquette.

So while they give all the 1 through 3 seeds a better chance than us, the only two other seeds they have with a better chance than us are 4-seed Washington State and 5-seed Clemson. After we leave Anaheim Saturday night you can just book a Hotel in between San Antonio and Houston for the last 4 games!

BamaMarquette Fan - Journalism '87 (not trying to be anonymous, my signin just doesn't work :-) )

Anonymous said...

We are almost sure to be the Noon (Pacific time) game both Thursday and Saturday. It won't be announced until tomorrow during the day, but UCLA is in the other bracket so that will almost certainly be the 6 p.m. Session. In the Noon session, as well as Kentucky travels they would put our game at Noon to make Stanford the late game.

Then Stanford-Marquette Saturday with UCLA to follow seems too logical.