The Marquette Golden Eagles (18-3, 7-1) head to Indianapolis on Wednesday to face the Butler Bulldogs (12-9, 3-5) at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
HOW TO WATCH OR STREAM
Time: 6:30 ET
TV: FS1 (Tim Brando, Bill Raftery)
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
While the Marquette Golden Eagles have been one of the Big East’s best teams this season, they certainly have a tough test ahead of them Wednesday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Marquette hasn’t won at Hinkle since 1989-90, as the Bulldogs have had their number in every Big East meeting so far. Overall, Marquette is just 2-8 in 10 Big East meetings against the Bulldogs, so this game has certainly been on their radar for quite some time. Add in the fact that the Golden Eagles have often looked like a different team this season, and it seems at least possible that the Bulldogs can pull off an upset.
However, this Marquette team isn’t like the other Marquette teams since they joined the Big East. Led by Big East leading scorer Markus Howard (24.6 PPG), Sam Hauser (15.4 PPG, 7.0 RPG) and Joey Hauser (11.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG), the Golden Eagles have been one of the best teams in the nation on both sides of the ball, which is largely responsible for their #10 ranking in this week’s AP Poll.
Looking for a signature win to turn their season around, this could be just what the doctor ordered for Butler. After seemingly turning a corner and improving to 3-3 in Big East play with wins over DePaul and St. John’s, the Bulldogs dropped their next two games against Villanova and Creighton to arrive at 3-5. As noted above, Hinkle has been a house of horrors for Marquette. Kamar Baldwin (17.5 PPG) will need some help, though. Jordan Tucker looked to have turned a corner after averaging 21.5 points in the two wins against DePaul and St. John’s, but has cooled back off in the two losses, averaging 10 points a game. Butler continues to feel like they’re one consistent scorer away from being a force in the Big East this season. Where last season they had Kelan Martin to pair with Baldwin, this year it has been Baldwin without a consistent second option.
Despite all of this, these teams are fairly close on paper. Marquette is ranked 35th in KenPom while Butler is 49th, and the Bulldogs are actually favored, so if Butler does pull off the upset, it shouldn’t be seen as a surprise.