The BC had a great atmosphere last night. The student section was rowdy the entire game. EVERYBODY was in their seats when basketball was being played...nobody was wondering the halls. I was in row W of section 4-something (ie...2nd last row in the place) and looking around the entire game I didn't see a single seat empty even at those top rows. Good times. Pretty much the complete opposite of any Bucks game.
Couple of points regarding the game:
UCONN doesn't have an identifiable weakness besides MAYBE not being deep enough for the tournament. However, the play makers on that team is just sick. Calm. Collected. You want to run plays for the beast down low? Check. Two man game at the top of the key with a big guy setting screens for a senior guard who can jack a 3 from anywhere? Check. Athletic forwards there for offensive rebounds and put backs? Check.
Marquette IS a much different team without Dominic James. Whomever commented earlier that the team will not miss a beat or even be better without James at the point (or whatever) is highly mistaken. Mo Acker is a suitable college backup. But James is a class above him...regardless of how he was overrated the last two years. It's clear he redefined himself and worked hard to become a legitimate point guard. There were countless times last night on fast breaks where Acker (who's very quick) would shoot up the floor and maybe have a 3 on 2 or even a 3 on 3 with a size mismatch. But he got tentative as soon as he reached the perimeter. That's the difference between him and James. James would break away, pass half court and then find another level of speed and burst past the defender right for a layup...or put a little juke on him and get into the lane for a floater or a dish. James' injury is severe for Marquette.
I believe (don't quote me) this past Saturday that Doug Gottlieb (who is turning into one of the most arrogant men on television) called Marquette the most "overrated" team in the country. Hmmm...ok. Maybe a little too much Doug. I would venture to say that last night proved Marquette could run with the top teams in the country. They were in the game until the very end...when that freaking dagger of a 3 point shot basically ended the game. I couldn't believe they let Price get a shot off like that when it's pretty obvious the ball was staying in his hands when he held it at the top of the key and wound the whole shot clock down.
That being said...Marquette can beat any team on any night...but their lack on size is what is going to kill them in the tournament. People have been saying that all year. Unless they get some ridiculous draw where they don't bump into any big teams, they're going to have to shoot lights out to go deep. The box score says it all. 2nd chance points will kill Marquette (as they did last night). UCONN had 14 offensive rebounds vs. Marquette's 6...and overall UCONN took them on the glass 44-25.
Sweet 16 team? Sure...I'll buy that. Beyond that...doesn't look good.
Let's just say I would have liked to see that game last night with Trevor Mbakwe playing significant minutes instead of Dwight Burke.