The Marquette retrospective of the NCAA East Regional
Although Marquette lost badly to North Carolina Friday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, there still were some positive signs.
First, the incredible turnout by the alma mater, all donning their blue and gold, all showing their incredible loyalty to the Golden Eagles/Warriors. Hearing ”Ring Out A-Hoya” live from the MU band was invigorating. I was proud to be an alum, like I always am.
However, it was painful as a sportswriter watching that first half unfold and not being able to show any emotion, especially since practically everyone in the press room knew my allegiance and especially after Marquette coach Buzz Williams sought me out after the practices on Thursday. For some reason, everyone knew it was me _ and I got the phone calls, texts and e-mails to prove it.
So when I arrived Friday, everyone was perched and ready to pounce on me being mentioned by Buzz. Even a member of the Marquette security group came up to me and said, “Did you hear Buzz mentioned you?” Trust me, I knew.
So the final score was lopsided and the game was over in a flash, especially when you’re trailing by 31 points, but there were positives.
For one, Davante Gardner has proven he can be a big-time post presence in the future. After struggling early, Junior Cadougan looks like he can replace Dwight Buycks at the point.
They won two games in the tourney and made it to the Sweet 16 for the first time since the 2003 Final Four appearance. They made everyone in my home state know exactly where Marquette was and who they are. The attention that the Golden Eagle/Warriors received was worth tons.
Now, the rumors of Buzz heading to Oklahoma. If he’s going to get a huge contract out of this, he deserves it. He’s a Texas boy and Oklahoma is a lot closer to home than Milwaukee.
I’d like to see him return, because the prospects of having another good season look good. Jimmy Butler will be sorely missed, but the team should be solid again next year, especially after this experience.
There were a lot of reasons to be proud, despite the final score. I was glad to be a part of it. I just wish they were there again today.
However, Carolina/Kentucky shapes up to be a great one. The matchup ofZeller/Harrellson should be a classic.
Now, this is a complaint about ESPN claiming to break stories. As a sportswriter, it’s a little annoying when they lay claim to ”exclusives.”
After Ohio State lost to Kentucky Friday night, Jared Sullinger answered a question that was posed by yours truly about his future. He answered that he was definitely coming back, that he had a lot of work to do and that he came to Ohio State to win. He said he had some unfinished business.
However, a few minutes later, on the bottom line of ESPN was a scrawl that said reporter Chad Ford had it exclusively. In my eyes, exclusive means one. Not a pool of reporters. And Ford wasn’t even the one who asked Sullinger if he was returning. But hey, the almighty ESPN claims they broke the story, so I guess they must have.
It’s really sickening to have ESPN break stories they really don’t break.
This just in. Lincoln has been shot attending a play. Sal Paolantonio reports exclusively. His return is questionable.