1. Marquette Takes Down Orange - During the day on Saturday the Bradley Center was home of the Marquette Golden Eagles, and they finally finished off a ranked team. They once again led against a ranked opponent at the half, going into the locker room with a 42-31 advantage. But for some reason Marquette let Syracuse back in the game just to get me worried again. I sent a text to a friend at halftime that said, "this might be the best first half team of all time, this one is far from over." I really don't know why Marquette plays this way, but the team loves getting up early only to relax a bit in the second half. I just wish they could play with that intensity all game. Marquette was able to to win this one 76-70.
The big three for Marquette were huge in this one. Jae Crowder led the way 25 points, 8 rebounds and added a block. Jimmy Butler broke down the zone and finished with 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists. Darius Johnson-Odom finished with 17 points, 3 assists, and was 7-7 from the free throw line. This was a game that Marquette really needed, and they did what they needed to do to win. Syracuse plays a very tough zone defense, and the 42 points scored in the game were the most they have given up in the first half all season. Marquette is now 14-8 overall, and 5-4 in the Big East. Next up is Villanova on Wednesday, so this will be another important game for Marquette to build their resume.
2. Jennings Is Back As Bucks Beat Nets - Brandon Jennings didn't play a lot of minutes, but when he came back on the court Saturday you could feel the electricity from the crowd. I also think that may have sparked this team to get back on track this season. Carlos Delfino started at shooting guard, and man did we need a return to form from him. With Delfino able to sit outside the three point line, the Bucks now have a real threat just opens things up for everyone else. When he isn't out there we really don't have that bulls eye shooter, so the lane is never open. But things are about to change with Jennings and Delfino back now. Milwaukee was able to take down the Nets 91-81.
3. Guys Night Out??? - Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Braun had a guys night out Saturday, as they got court side seats to the Bucks game. Their appearance added to the number of winners in the Bradley Center, and it's kind of neat to see the top stars from Wisconsin teams hang out together. When both of these guys returned to their seats at the 4:15 mark of the third quarter, the BC erupted almost like never before. They got a standing ovation, and people were giving them high fives as they returned. I really think Braun was handling the attention better than Rodgers, because Aaron looked a bit shy at all the attention that he was receiving. Ryan was just taking it all in, because that is just the way he is. He was also playing more of a second fiddle to Rodgers as far as the fans were concerned, since it's the Packers that are on the forefront of everyone's minds in Wisconsin right now.
After the game Ryan Braun and Shaun Marcum made an appearance on Bucks Live (Marcum was at the game as well, in addition to John Axford, Ron Roenicke, and Badgers running back John Clay). Braun and Marcum's appearance on the postgame show was kind of funny, because they were asked about their defensive stances, except in regards to basketball. Marcum got in this stance that was perfect, and said that's what he was taught in gym class. Braun's on the other hand was a little lazy, but he got it down by bending his knees some more. Tony Smith talked about how you can't keep your feet together when playing defense, and then Braun related it to playing in the outfield. Things got weird when Marcum was asked about his defensive stance, because he kind of dodged the question. I really feel Tony Smith didn't realize he was a pitcher. Either way it was funny to see, and it's cool to see a guy who has never played a game with the Brewers be active outside of baseball already in his new community.