The Marquette Golden Eagles (20-7, 11-4 Big East) have been one of the most consistent teams–in a very inconsistent season–all year long. Marquette has very rarely lost to a team they shouldn’t have (except the Green Bay Phoenix) and have beaten three ranked teams. Their NCAA Tournament resume is as strong as almost every other power-team in the nation.
But in the shorter-term, the Golden Eagles are fighting for something more tangible than a pair of fictional dancing slippers–the Big East Conference regular season championship. Marquette is only one game behind the Georgetown Hoyas with only three games remaining on their schedule. Both teams only face one ranked team in their remaining games, but Georgetown actually has a little bit tougher of an end of season run, leaving the Golden Eagles a chance to win the last Big East title with this lineup of teams (Big East is still alive but in a much different fashion going forward).
Golden Eagles coach Buzz Williams, maybe the most underrated coach in the nation, is certainly going to push his players in the final three games. While the regular season title might not be the most important thing to he or the team, winning out also improves their seeding for the NCAA Tournament.
The Louisville Cardinals are the only other team within realistic striking distance of the Hoyas. Considering that the Catholic Seven is likely going to be taking the Big East moniker with them next year, I am sure they would like to leave this version of the conference with one of their own winning the regular season title. Although, I doubt either the Hoyas or the Golden Eagles would lie down for the other, in the hopes that one of the Catholic Seven would walk away with the regular season championship.
It is going to be a photo-finish at the end. What a fitting way to end the final year of this version of the Big East.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Joe on Twitter @JosephNardone