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Big East Tournament: Xavier Muskeeters Keep Tournament Hopes Alive With Marquette Win

2014 Big East Tournament

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Xavier Musketeers are considered on the 2014 NCAA Tournament bubble after a season of ups and downs that saw them beat some very good college basketball teams, but lose to some fairly poor ones. That’s why the 2014 Big East Tournament is so essential to Xavier, because it must be used to boost their resume. In their opening round, they took on the Marquette Golden Eagles and got a little more than they bargained for.

Marquette kept it close for a majority of the game behind the 23-point performance by Deonte Burton and a 21-point performance by Todd Mayo off the bench. However, Semaj Christon and Justin Martin were too much for the Golden Eagles, as they combined for 37 points and helped force Marquette into bad shots. Xavier won late, 68-65.

The Muskeeters have some work to do to be assured of a 2014 NCAA Tournament berth, but they have good wins to boost their resume. They have wins against the Cincinnati Bearcats, Tennessee Volunteers, Creighton Blue Jays and St. John’s Red Storm. However, their semifinal match-up with Creighton in the 2014 Big East Tournament may ultimately decide their tournament fate.

If Xavier can defeat Creighton, they will be a lock for the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The Musketeers defeated the Blue Jays recently at home, but fell to the Blue Jays away from home. This is a game that could go either way, and it’s going to come down to whether or not Xavier can stop the best college basketball player in the country, Doug McDermott.

Taylor Sturm is a Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.