Golden Eagles Making Seventh Trip To Elite Eight
Marquette will be making its seventh trip to the Elite Eight when the team faces Syracuse Saturday afternoon at the Verizon Center.
The program’s last matchup in the NCAA?regional final came in 2003 and resulted in a trip to the Final Four in New Orleans, behind the leadership of guard Dwyane Wade. MU defeated top-seeded Kentucky 83-69 in Minneapolis, Minn., before falling to Kansas.
MU is now 41-31 all-time in the NCAA?Championship and also advanced to the Elite Eight in 1955, 1969, 1974, 1976 and 1977 (NCAA?Champions). A pair of BIG?EAST competitors last matched up in the Elite Eight in 2009. Villanova defeated Pittsburgh 78-76 that season in an East Region contest from Boston, Mass.
MU is one of just six teams (Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Michigan St. and Wisconsin) to be selected to the NCAA field in each of the last eight years.
MU-Syracuse To Face Off In Bonus Matchup
Marquette fans thought they had seen the last of Syracuse when the two teams met at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Feb. 25, but Saturday’s Elite Eight matchup provides a bonus opportunity while the squads are still members of the BIG EAST Conference.
Syracuse leads the all-time series 8-5, with Marquette earning a 74-71 decision in the most recent matchup. The Golden Eagles trailed by as many as 11 points in the game, but were able to hold on for the win thanks to a career-best 26 points off the bench from Davante Gardner. Prior to last season, Marquette had won the previous two matchups, including a 66-62 decision in the 2011 NCAA Championship that allowed the Golden Eagles to advance to the Sweet 16.
The series dates back to the 1941-42 campaign, but at one point there was a 40-year gap between meetings. Marquette has defeated every program in the BIG?EAST since joining the league in 2005-06, with Syracuse being the final conference foe to fall (W, 76-70 on Jan. 29, 2011) against the Golden Eagles.
Cadougan Quietly Collecting Impressive Career
Senior Junior Cadougan, who finished with eight points, five rebounds and an assist, is quietly putting together one of the most impressive careers in Marquette history.
The four-year letterwinner has helped account for 97 victories during his tenure, the fourth-highest total in the school’s record book and the most since Bernard Toone (98, 1975-79). The Toronto, Ontario, native has now been a member of two Sweet 16 rosters (2010-11, 2011-12) and another that has advanced to at least the Elite Eight. He is currently ranked seventh at MU in assists with 433 and has started in 67-of-68 appearances.
Lockett’s Introduction Might Require Position Change
Senior guard Trent Lockett has been rebounding with such efficiency during the team’s NCAA run, he might need to be introduced as a center in the starting lineups.
The Golden Valley, Minn., native is averaging a team-best 9.3 rebounds per game in the three outings, including a total of 24 in the last two games. He grabbed a career-best 13 in the win over Butler and followed that up with an 11-carom effort in the victory versus Miami. Lockett also found time to chip in eight points and two assists in 38 minutes. For the year, Lockett is the squad’s leading rebounder at 5.1 boards per outing.