2013 NCAA Tournament Elite 8 Preview: Syracuse vs. Marquette

By Joseph Nardone
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Someone lied to us about the Big East Conference going away when the conference tournament ended. Thanks to some Sweet 16 victories, the Marquette Golden Eagles and the Syracuse Orange are going to resurrect the Big East moniker (as we knew it) one last time.

This time, however, a lot more will be in place than just being the last team to hold a conference title. A trip to the Final Four and a spot in our hearts is also on the line.

What to Watch For

Can Vander Blue offset Syracuse’s overall talent advantage by being awesome. Blue has had a pretty good tournament so far, highlighted by his 29-point outburst in the third round. While the Sweet 16 game was not as eventful for the guard, that is not to say he couldn’t duplicate another bonkers performance. Blue, though, will have to be more efficient from beyond the arc as the Orange will surely use their 2-3 zone.

Michael Carter-Williams brought the best version of himself to the Sweet 16. Everyone knew the guard had the talent and size to dominate, but it has been a few months since he put on such a masterful performance. Not only will the Orange need him to be as aggressive and effective on offense, they might use him to counter Blue on the defensive side of the ball.


We are all winners here. One more (this time I promise) Big East game before the league changes forever. It’s a coin toss if I ever saw one, and the edge goes to Marquette for Buzz Williams‘ ability to dance.

Marquette 66 — Syracuse 65


Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone

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