Marquette was able to win that game by three points behind Davante Gardner’s 26-point effort. However, the NCAA Tournament is much more critical than Big East play–especially the Elite Eight–and both teams will be going all out to try and reach the Final Four.
The Golden Eagles had their best game of the tournament yet, by knocking off the No. 2 Miami Hurricanes in the last round. Marquette only held the Hurricanes to 61 points. This team will need that kind of defensive performance to shutdown Syracuse in what will likely be a defensive showdown between the two teams.
Vander Blue had a lot of help last game from his teammates. Jamil Wilson scored 16 points, which led the team, and Gardner had 14 points of his own. Blue also had 14 points in the game.
For Marquette to be successful, Blue will have to come up big like he always does.
Syracuse is coming off of a very impressive win over the No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers, where they only gave up 50 points. The Hoosiers had arguably the best offense in the country, so just imagine what the Orange could do to Marquette if the Golden Eagles do not show up with their A game.
For that to happen, Marquette will have to continue to shoot hot from the floor, where they shot 54 percent from the field last game. They also need to play big on the defensive side of the ball and make sure that Syracuse’s point guard Michael Carter-Williams doesn’t take over the game, like he did against Indiana with 24 points.
Marquette is clearly a great basketball team and it has already knocked off Syracuse once this season. However, the rematch will have much more on the line.
Whether the case, a Big East team will be representing the East Region in this year’s Final Four.