MU Hosts Xavier Saturday On National Marquette Day
Feb. 16, 2017
TV Info: CBS Sports Network | Radio Info: 540 ESPN
Golden Eagles Celebrate National Marquette Day
National Marquette Day is a tradition dating back to the 1960s that brings the Marquette nation united together in pride and spirit to honor the values of the University.
Friday night's pep rally across the street from the Al McGuire Center, is the official tip-off of the National Marquette Day celebration and will be capped by a fireworks display. As a special feature this year, nearly 50 former men's basketball players will lace up their shoes one more time for an alumni game in celebration of the program's 100th year.
On Saturday night, alumni will be gathering in Milwaukee and around the world at more than 60 locations representing multiple states and countries, including France and Haiti, to celebrate Marquette and cheer on the men's basketball team. Nearly 200 former players, coaches and staff members will be in attendance for the game and will be recognized during a special halftime ceremony.
In its present form, National Marquette Day has been around since 1992. The celebration was preceded by Spirit Day, with roots dating back to the 1960s.
Marquette's Series With Xavier Has Long History
Marquette and Xavier will meet for the 70th time on Saturday evening, continuing a series that spans nearly half of the program's 100-year history.
The Golden Eagles own a 47-22 overall lead in matchups that date back to the 1958-59 campaign. MU dominated the pairings during the Al McGuire and Hank Raymonds era, at one point claiming 26-straight victories between 1969 and 1983. The lone NCAA tournament meeting came in 2010-11 and resulted in a 66-55 Marquette win in the opening round and started the team's run to a Sweet 16 appearance. XU posted a 67-63 win over MU at home in the 2000 National Invitation Tournament.
The Musketeers have claimed the last six meetings and 7-of-8 overall, including a sweep of the home-and-home series in 2015-16. Xavier ended Marquette's last season with a 90-72 win in the quarterfinals fo the BIG EAST Conference Tournament.
Wilson Provides Presence Off Bench
Redshirt junior guard Duane Wilson, one of the team's most experienced players, was one of the team's top contributers in it's setback at Georgetown on Feb. 11.
The Milwaukee, Wisconsin native finished with 12 points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal in 23 minutes off the bench. He shot 5-of-7 from the floor and his point total (seven points in previous four games) was his second-best of the campaign. Wilson's four rebounds were his most (season best) since the Nov. 18 matchup with Pittsburgh.
Wilson has played in 88 career games for Marquette and earned 45 starting assignments. He redshirted the 2013-14 campaign after injuring his leg during the preseason.
Marquette-Xavier Had To Wait For First 2016-17 Matchup
While the BIG EAST campaign features a round-robin format for its 10 members, the scheduling challenges do create unique situations for many of the league's teams.
While Marquette has already completed its home-and-home series with Seton Hall, Georgetown, Villanova, DePaul and Butler, the Golden Eagles are facing the Musketeers for the first time on Saturday night. The two programs will also face each other in Cincinnati on March 1.
Because of the team's first bye week, MU challenged Seton Hall twice in a 10-day, three-game span in early January.
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