It's always rough when the season comes to an end. It's even rougher when you know you have a special squad, capable of making a run. That's what happened for Marquette and its fans tonight in Phoenix, as the #3 seed Golden Eagles fell to the #7 seed Florida Gators.
The reasons for the loss are numerous: Florida's pressure defense force MU into some first half turnovers, that gave the Gators an early advantage. The Junior Cadougan from the Big East Tournament made an appearance, and notched 0 points, 3 turnovers, and 4 fouls while he was there. The two main cogs in the Marquette attack, Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom, both struggled mightily. The officiating was questionable, as always. But the main reason that the Golden Eagles are not getting ready to play a rubber match with Louisville on Saturday night, is that they just did not make shots. Shooting just 30% from the floor is never going to be good enough to win games in the NCAA Tournament.
Our hats go off to the Gators, who came with a pretty effective game plan to beat us today. But I think even they would admit, that they did not play their best tonight. They made just 7 three-pointers and shot only 40% in the win. They probably should've blown Marquette out of the gym tonight, but didn't. In fact, Marquette got within 6 of the lead, with 3:20 to play. But the big shot just never came. The boys tried to make a late charge, but just couldn't buy a basket when they needed it most.
And like that, the dream season is over.
There will be more to come on the game, but just not tonight. It's too much right now. If you would like to talk through your disappointment, the comments section is here for you.