In what will be their first true road game of the year, the Georgetown Hoyas travel to Milwaukee to take on the Marquette Golden Eagles on Saturday. Marquette is coming off an emotional overtime win over Connecticut thanks to senior guard Junior Cadougan’s buzzer-beating tying three-pointer at the end of regulation that forced the extra session.
For the Hoyas, it’ll be their Big East Conference opener after completing the non-conference portion of their schedule. After a win over UCLA, Georgetown suffered the only blemish on their record, a loss to (then) top-ranked Indiana at Madison Square Garden. Georgetown prides themselves on the defensive end of the floor, as was clearly evident during their 37-36 win over Tennessee and a 46-40 win over Towson. Their offense is led by Otto Porter Jr., who does it all. He’s their leading scorer, rebounder, shot blocker, as well as leading them in steals. If Marquette can contain him, it could be a long day for the Hoyas.
Marquette is built from the same mold as the Hoyas – defense, defense, defense. Their leading scorer, Vander Blue, averages just over 13 points per game but they have a good surrounding cast including Cadougan and forward Jamil Wilson with forward Davante Gardner off the bench. They’re a historically scrappy team with a lot of fight and of their three losses, two were to very good teams (72-71 to Butler and 82-49 to Florida) while the head-scratcher was the loss to in-state “rival” Green Bay. They could, however, be due for a letdown after an thrilling win over UConn.
Big East play comes in like a lion and, well, goes out like a lion. Neither team will have it easy from here on out, so getting off to a good start in conference is huge. A win means a 2-0 start for the Golden Eagles and would almost guarantee them a spot in the Top 25 while a road win for Georgetown would push their winning streak to eight games.
In a game that’s a pick ‘em in the books and I’m going with Marquette to defend their house in a mild upset.