by Troy Sparks
March Madness is almost here, and the Marquette men’s basketball team must finish the season strong. In their recent two home games, the Golden Eagles were trying to right the ship after two heartbreaking losses at Georgetown, Feb. 13, and at home, Feb. 15, against St. John’s.
Entering the Feb. 19 home game against Seton Hall, Marquette knew it was now or never. Around here, the NIT isn’t acceptable. It would make Buzz Williams feel like he’s not doing a good job directing his troops to victory.
At this point, they need to win three of their last five regular season games and reach the Big East postseason tournament semifinals to sneak into the Big Dance. Williams will change his starting lineup to get better results.
“I just want to win,” he said after their victory over Seton Hall. “If you can help us win, you can play.”
Junior forward Jae Crowder said, “We set a goal for ourselves to try to win out. We look at it like our backs are against the wall. You’re either going to fight or lay down.”
Senior forward Jimmy Butler agreed that they have to win to get into the NCAA’s. The day after the St. John’s loss, Williams left town to get away from basketball.
That time away re-energized him and the team to mentally prepare for the drive down the stretch. Losing three of the 10 games by five points or less will turn Marquette into a bubble team and probably one of the last teams to get into the NCAA Tournament.