Marquette Set For Rematch With Butler In NCAA Third Round
March 22, 2013
The No. 3 seed Marquette University men’s basketball team (24-8, 14-4 BIG EAST) continues play in the NCAA Championship Saturday, March 23 at approximately 6:45 p.m. CT when the team faces No. 6 seed Butler (27-8, 11-5 Atlantic 10) at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. CBS will feature MU’s 22nd national broadcast of the campaign, with Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Jim Spanarkel (analyst) and Allie LaForce (reporter) on the call. Midwest Region No. 1 seed Louisville will face No. 8 seed Colorado State at 4:15 p.m. CT in the opening game of the session.
Blue Plays The Hero For Second Time In Two Weeks
Junior guard Vander Blue, who netted the game winner in the closing seconds of the regular-season finale at St. John’s, played the hero once again in the victory over Davidson.
Blue’s layup with one second left in regulation allowed MU to escape with a 59-58 decision. The Madison, Wis., native scored on the same play as time expired in the game at St. John’s on March 9, which allowed Marquette to claim a share of the BIG EAST Conference regular season title. He finished with 16 points in 28 minutes of action versus Davidson.
Dating back to the start of the 2008-09 campaign, Marquette owns an overall record of 18-16 in games decided by three points-or-less (4-3 in 2012-13) and is 5-2 in overtime outings. Of the 34 games, 13 came during the 2009-10 season and six of those came in the final nine contests of the year.
Series With Butler Includes Maui Buzzer Beater
Marquette and Butler have met a total of 28 times in the all-time series, with each program claiming 14 victories.
MU fans, however, more than likely only remember the Bulldogs’ 72-71 win at this year’s Maui Invitational on Nov. 19, 2012. BU’s Rotnei Clarke drained a desperation 3-pointer as time expired after a missed MU free throw. Clarke finished with 20 points and forward Khyle Marshall chipped in 24 points and nine rebounds. Marquette was led by guard Vander Blue’s 21 points.
The series dates back to the 1922-23 campaign and saw MU claim nine-straight victories before Butler was able to claim wins in each of the last three matchups. The teams will become more familiar with each other next season when both are members of the BIG EAST Conference.
Marquette Looking For 16th Sweet 16 Appearance
Marquette now owns an overall record of 39-31 in the NCAA Championship after the team’s victory over Davidson Thursday evening.
The Golden Eagles are 8-3 all-time as the No. 3 seed (4-0 vs. No. 6 seed) and are hoping for the squad’s third-straight Sweet 16 appearance and 16th overall with a win over Butler. MU last played in three-consecutive Sweet 16s from 1972-74 under legendary head coach Al McGuire.
Marquette is one of just six teams (Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Michigan St. and Wisconsin) to be selected to the NCAA field in each of the last eight years.
Otule Collects First Double-Double In Win
Marquette center Chris Otule has been playing some of the best basketball of his career late in the 2012-13 regular season and he carried that over into the NCAA opener Thursday night.
The Richmond, Texas, native collected his first career double-double, finishing with 11 points and 11 rebounds in just 22 minutes of action. He finished 4-of-5 from the field and seven of his boards (nine total in first half) came at the offensive end. He also swatted four Davidson shots and is now ranked sixth all-time at MU with 111 swats.
Lockett Plays Big With Season-Best Effort On The Boards
Thanks to Thursday night’s 11-rebound performance in the win over Davidson, senior guard Trent Lockett is now the team’s leading rebounder at 4.9 boards per contest this season.
The Golden Valley, Minn., native reached double figures in rebounds for the second time in 2012-13 and set a personal-best mark at Marquette with his effort against the Wildcats. His previous best was a 10-carom outing versus Georgetown on Jan. 5. He grabbed a career-best 12 rebounds on two occasions while at Arizona State.
Lockett earned his undergraduate degree at ASU in three years and was granted a waiver by the NCAA allowing him to play in 2012-13 without sitting out. He is enrolled in the sports leadership master’s program at Marquette.