What a difference two weeks makes.
Heading into the week of February 10, the Marquette Golden Eagles were riding high after a win over Butler raised them to 17-6 on the year and 7-4 in Big East play, just one game out of a tie for first place in the conference. Marquette also found themselves in the AP Top 25 for the first time all season, entering the week at #18.
Then, the bottom fell out. Three straight losses have brought the Golden Eagles to 17-6 and 7-7 in conference play as the goal suddenly turns to avoiding Wednesday at the Big East Tournament. While Marquette’s had two tough road games (Villanova, Providence) and one of the nation’s hottest teams (Creighton) in their three-game slump, the fact that the Golden Eagles have started to look porous on defense has been alarming.
Can things turn around for Markus Howard and the Golden Eagles in a home game against Georgetown, a team Marquette has beaten five of the last seven times they’ve played in the regular season? Or will the freefall continue to the point where Marquette ends up on the bubble of the NCAA Tournament instead of safely in?
Georgetown was in good shape two weeks ago, as well. After wins over DePaul and Butler brought the Hoyas to 15-10, things looked to be on the up and up despite Mac McClung and Omer Yurtseven both being banged up. The Hoyas followed up with a pair of losses to Providence and DePaul, as McClung remains questionable for Wednesday’s game against Marquette. McClung had a team-high 24 points in Georgetown’s 84-80 loss to Marquette January 18 in Washington DC, so his status is certainly something to monitor as gametime approaches.
The losses to DePaul and Providence has likely moved Georgetown from the bubble to needing the autobid to make the NCAA Tournament, but a strong showing over the next four regular season games could perhaps get the Hoyas back on the bubble, or get them a better seed in the NIT.
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