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NCAA Basketball Big East BasketballMarch MadnessMarquette Golden Eagles

2013 NCAA Tournament: Marquette Seeking First Final Four Appearance Since Dwyane Wade Era

Bob Donnan-USA Today Sports

For the first time since 2003, the Marquette Golden Eagles are in theElite 8.

That 2003 team which included the likes of Dwyane Wade, Steve Novak, Travis Diener and Robert Jackson advanced to the Final Four and that’s exactly what the 2013 Golden Eagles are hoping to do ten years later.

There are no superstars on this Marquette team however, it’s a collective effort that has gone above and beyond preseason expectations. In fact, the Golden Eagles were selected to finish 7th in the Big East preseason media poll — Marquette is now among the nation’s final eight remaining squads.

Ironically enough, Marquette could have had the potential to square up against their former coach this weekend, but Tom Crean and the Indiana Hoosiers were upset on the same night in which the Golden Eagles advanced to theElite 8.

After three consecutive Sweet 16 appearances, Marquette finally broke through to the regional final thanks to its stifling defense against Miami (FL) on Thursday night. The Golden Eagles however, still have work to do in their pursuit of a Final Four and the Golden Eagles will get a familiar foe on Saturday evening in Syracuse.

During the regular season, Marquette defeated the Orange by a final score of 74-71, but that game was played in Milwaukee. Marquette will once again have to bring their A-Game if they hope to move forward to Atlanta.

Vander Blue and Junior Cadougan will need to be ready to create offense against the Syracuse 2-3 zone, while Davante Gardner will look to duplicate a career-high 26 points that he scored against Syracuse earlier in the year.

Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30pm (EST) on Saturday.

 

Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS