MU Hosts No. 1 Villanova On National Marquette Day
Feb. 25, 2016
TV: FOX | Radio: 540 ESPN
The Marquette University men’s basketball team (18-10, 7-8 BIG EAST) opens a two-game homestand Saturday at 1 p.m. CT when the squad welcomes No. 1/1 Villanova (24-4, 13-2 BIG EAST) to the BMO Harris Bradley Center for National Marquette Day. FOX will feature the program’s 23rd national television broadcast of the campaign, with Gus Johnson (play-by-play) and Jim Jackson (analyst) calling the action. Following Saturday’s outing, the Golden Eagles will take on Georgetown on March 1 in the regular season home finale and will honor the program’s senior class during a pregame ceremony.
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, hosted by film/television star Danny Pudi, is the official kick-off of the National Marquette Day celebration and will be capped by a fireworks display. On Saturday, alumni will be gathering in Milwaukee and around the world at more than 60 locations representing multiple states and countries including France, England and Puerto Rico to celebrate Marquette and cheer on the men's basketball team.
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. Villanova (ranked No. 6 at the time) was also the opponent for the 2015 event and posted an 87-76 win over the Golden Eagles on Feb. 21 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
BIG EAST Play Renewed Long Series With Wildcats
Villanova holds a 18-9 advantage over Marquette in an all-time series that dates back to 1960, but over half of the matchups (19) have come since the Golden Eagles joined the BIG EAST Conference in 2005-06.
Along with regular season and tournament matchups in league play, the two teams also squared off in the 1963 National Invitation Tournament and the 1980 NCAA Championship. Marquette downed the Wildcats 66-58 in the NIT, but fell 77-59 in the opening round of the NCAA’s in Providence, R.I.
Marquette has dropped each of the last seven meetings with Villanova, including an 83-68 decision on Jan. 13 in the first matchup between the two programs this season. Freshman guard Haanif Cheatham led the team with 17 points and MU was ahead 38-37 at the intermission, but the Wildcats pulled away in the second half thanks to 20 points from forward Kris Jenkins.
Marquette Facing Top-Ranked Team For 10th Time
Marquette will face No. 1/1 Villanova on Saturday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on National Marquette Day.
The program is 1-8 all-time the top-ranked squad in the land, with the victory coming in the 2003 Elite Eight when the team downed Kentucky 83-69 to earn a trip to the Final Four in New Orleans. Syracuse defeated Marquette 73-66 on Jan. 7 2012 in the team’s most recent matchup with the No. 1 team. The Golden Eagles hosted top-ranked Cincinnati on Jan. 23, 2000 in the only game against the highest-rated squad at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
The Golden Eagles are 116-184 all-time versus programs in the top-25 at the time of the matchup (3-3 in 2015-16), including a 43-113 mark against top-10 squads. MU added a win to both categories on Jan. 5, downing No. 8/9 Providence 65-64 on the road, the program’s first win over a top-10 team since the 2013 Sweet 16 matchup versus Miami.
Marquette defeated No. 22/17 LSU earlier this season at the Legends Classic for the team’s first top-25 victory under head coach Steve Wojciechowski.
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