No. 18/20 Marquette Hosts No. 16/17 Pittsburgh Saturday Afternoon
Feb. 14, 2013
TV Info: CBS | Radio Info: 540 ESPN
The No. 18/20 Marquette University men's basketball team (17-6, 8-3 BIG EAST) returns home Saturday afternoon to face No. 16/17 Pittsburgh (20-5, 8-4 BIG EAST) at the BMO Harris Bradley Center at Noon CT. CBS will feature Marquette's 15th national television broadcast of the campaign, with Spero Dedes (play-by-play) and Greg Anthony (analyst) calling the action from Al McGuire Court.
The Golden Eagles won't be home for long after Saturday's game as they hit the road for matchups at Seton Hall (Feb. 19) and Villanova (Feb. 23). The squad then returns home to face No. 6/7 Syracuse on Feb. 25 as part of ESPN's "Big Monday" broadcast package.
Marquette To Honor 2003 Final Four Team
Marquette University and its dedicated men's basketball fans will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the 2003 Final Four run by the Golden Eagles, which concluded in New Orleans.
Under head coach Tom Crean, MU posted an overall record of 27-6 and a 14-2 mark in Conference USA (regular season champions). The team was seeded third in the Midwest Region and posted four victories before falling to top-seeded Kansas in the national semifinals. The historic run included a 77-74 decision over Pittsburgh in the Sweet 16 in Minneapolis, Minn.
Dwyane Wade was the team's leading scorer at 21.5 points per game and Robert Jackson topped the roster with 7.5 boards per outing. Three players (Wade, Steve Novak and Travis Diener) from that team went on to play in the National Basketball Association.
The afternoon's festivities will include recognition of those team members in attendance, a special video and messages from several former players and staff members.
MU Owns Extended Home Court Winning Streak
Marquette is currently in possession of a 22-game winning streak (fourth-longest active streak in the nation) at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
After falling 74-57 to Vanderbilt on Dec. 29, 2011, MU collected a perfect 9-0 record at home in BIG EAST play (15-1 overall) in 2011-12 en route to a best-ever second-place finish (14-4) in the league. The Golden Eagles are 13-0 so far at home in 2012-13.
In just over 24 seasons of play at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, Marquette owns an impressive overall record of 326-87 (.788) and a 52-13 (.797) mark in BIG EAST action.
BIG EAST Success Has Led To Postseason Action
Marquette could enter play Saturday afternoon in at least a share of first place in the BIG EAST Conference with an 8-3 record in 2012-13.
The Golden Eagles have enjoyed a tremendous amount of success since joining the league in 2005-06 and are coming off a best-ever second-place finish (14-4) last year. In the seven campaigns since MU started play in the conference, the Golden Eagles are the lone team to finish .500-or-better in BIG EAST play each of those seasons. As a result, Marquette is the only current member of the league to compete in the NCAA Championship each of those years as well.
With seven games (four on the road) left in the regular season, Marquette needs just one victory to assure itself of at least a .500 mark in BIG EAST competition in 2012-13.
Series With Pittsburgh Dates Back To 1930
Thanks to Marquette's 74-67 overtime victory at Pittsburgh on Jan. 12 the all-time series, which dates back to 1930, is now even (8-8).
Of the 16 total matchups, 12 have come since the Golden Eagles joined the BIG EAST Conference in 2005-06. Last year's 62-57 MU win at the BMO Harris Bradley Center snapped a four-game losing streak to the Panthers.
Previous to last season, each of the meetings dating back to 2003 featured at least one of the squads ranked in the top-25. That year MU downed the Panthers 77-74 in the Sweet 16 en route to a trip to the Final Four.