Sunday, February 21, 2010

Marquette, Wisconsin Survive Close Contests

As hard as it is to watch the Packers lose to the Vikings and to see the Brewers lose to the Cubs, few things irk me as much as when the Badgers lose to Northwestern. It may be a fine academic institution, but I just can not stand them athletically, for I feel the entire program is a joke. Thankfully, the Badgers were not losers on Sunday, although at times it looked like they may have been.

Not a very impressive week for the Badgers, with the loss to Minnesota and then a pretty regrettable outing against Northwestern. A few weeks ago, I threw out a claim that the Badgers had the type of team that could make the Elite Eight, and that's a statement I'd like to take back. Up just a handful of points towards the end of this game, the Badgers strategy to protect their lead was to fire up ridiculous three point shots instead of trying to work some guaranteed points down low.

Fact of the matter is, the Badgers don't really have a lot of down low, post-up ability, and that's going to cost them dearly in the tournament. They are a good team, no question, but I just was not impressed by what I saw Sunday afternoon to think they could do any damage. Still, a win is a win, and the Badgers got it 70-63.

One team that may be apt to do a little more damage in the tournament is the Marquette Golden Eagles, although they have to earn a bid into the tourney first which may be a challenge. They took one step closer to surviving a burst bubble with a 79-76 overtime win against Cincinnati on Sunday. I won't go all out and say that every game is a must win for MU, but losing this game would have been crushing for their tournament hopes.

Realistically, Marquette is probably still going to have to put up a good Big East tournament run to earn a ticket, but they've looked very good in victories and even defeat this season, and could make a run if they did learn how to finish more games like they did against Cincy. The Brew Town Beat takes a good look at just how badly this Marquette program needs to make the NCAA tournament, which is a good read if you love Marquette and if you love blogs that post something once every two weeks (just kidding guys, love the work you do!)


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