Marquette Faces Providence Tuesday Night
March 3, 2014
TV Info: FOX Sports 1 | Radio Info: 540 ESPN Milwaukee
The Marquette University men's basketball team (17-12, 9-7 BIG EAST) wraps up the road portion of its 2013-14 campaign on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. CT when the squad travels to Providence (19-10, 9-7 BIG EAST) in BIG EAST Conference action. FOX Sports 1 will feature the television broadcast, with Chris Carrino (play-by-play) and Tarik Turner (analyst) calling the action from the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The Golden Eagles will wrap up the regular season at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday, March 8 when the team hosts St. John's on Al's Day/Senior Day at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Marquette-Providence Dates Back To 1963
While the all-time series between Marquette and Providence consists of just 17 games, the matchups do include a number of memorable contests for MU fans.
The Golden Eagles lead the all-time series 13-4 and have claimed each of the last 10 outings. The team's last trip to Providence resulted in a 79-72 Marquette victory on Jan. 21, 2012 and MU has won three-straight at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
The two programs first met in the 1963 National Invitation Tournament and the result was a 70-64 victory by PC. The teams would cross paths four years later in the same event and a slim 81-80 win by Marquette in overtime helped the squad to a runner-up finish under head coach Al McGuire. Providence ended MU's run in the 1997 NCAA tournament with an 81-59 victory in Charlotte, N.C.
In the most recent outing on Jan. 30, senior Davante Gardner led the team with 14 points and classmate Jamil Wilson chipped in 11 points in a 61-50 Marquette victory. MU held the Friars to just 32.8 percent shooting from the field and were in possession of a 31-14 advantage at the intermission.
Depth Of BIG EAST Difficult To Match
With the postseason rapidly approaching, the BIG EAST is well positioned to place multiple teams in the final bracket. Consider these facts, through games of March 2.
- The BIG EAST has seven teams in the top-60 of the latest KenPom Rankings, second only to the Pac 12 (more total members), tied with the Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC, and more than the SEC and all other leagues.
- Nine league schools have a strength of schedule in the top-50 according to KenPom, more than any league besides the Big 12.
- KenPom ranks the BIG EAST as the third-toughest conference in the country and RPIRatings.com lists the league fourth, thanks in part to the narrow differential (second-smallest among all leagues) between its top and bottom programs.
Burton Provides Instant Offense At Villanova
Freshman forward Deonte Burton has displayed the ability this season to provide instant offense off of the bench and his performance at Villanova on Sunday afternoon was another example.
The Milwaukee, Wis., native finished with a team-high 13 points in just 13 minutes off the bench. He shot 5-of-7 from the floor and all of his points came in the second half. Burton also chipped in four steals and is now second on the team with 33 thefts and 14th in the BIG EAST in steals per game (1.1). Burton hadn't scored in either of the team's previous two games prior to Sunday's offensive outburst and he is currently chipping in 6.2 points per game in just 11.9 minutes per outing.
Marquette Looking To Continue BIG EAST Success
Marquette has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success since joining the BIG EAST in 2005-06. In the eight campaigns since MU started play, the Golden Eagles are the lone team to finish .500-or-better in BIG EAST play each of those seasons. With last Thursday night's win over Georgetown, MU has assured itself of extending that run.
As a result, Marquette is the only current member of the league to compete in the NCAA Championship and advance to at least the conference tourney quarterfinals in each of those eight years as well.
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