Marquette heads to the final day of the regular season as one of only two teams to clinch a specific seed in the Big East tournament. The 4-13 Golden Eagles will be the #8 seed when the tournament gets started on Saturday, as no one get match them in wins or losses at this point. They'll play the winner of Sunday's Providence-Georgetown game, as those are the two teams currently tied for ninth and/or last, depending on how you want to view that. That's good news for MU, as they picked up wins against the Friars and the Hoyas on their second trip through the Big East this season.
Through the four weeks of Marquette's second time through the conference, they went 1-1 each time. Three weeks of losing on Friday night followed by a win on Sunday afternoon, with the script reversed last weekend. With a 10 team league, they only play each of their nine opponents twice, so now there's only one game this weekend. How will Marquette fair when they only have the one game to worry about? All energy and attention paid, so they give the Blue Demons fits? Or does Doug Bruno have his teams so ready to go that they come away with another 30 point pounding of their rivals to the north?
Big East Game #18: at DePaul (22-7, 14-3 Big East)
DePaul needs help.
I know, it doesn't look like it from their record. But because the Blue Demons lost both games to Seton Hall this season, they find themselves locked in a tie heading to Sunday but without tiebreakers in hand. If DePaul beats Marquette and Seton Hall wins on the road at Butler, then the Pirates take the #1 seed, even though the two squads will be regular season co-champions.
DePaul comes in having won 13 straight games against non-Seton Hall opponents, and they have my pick as the best player in the Big East this season, Brittany Hrynko. She leads the Big East's most potent offense in scoring, racking up over 20 points every night. The four rebounds and five assists are a nice bonus, too.
Chanise Jenkins, Megan Podkowa and Jessica "I'm not January Jones, stop remembering my name like that" January would make a formidable trio on their own even without Hrynko, as that grouping combines to average 37 points and 14 rebounds a game. Marquette will have to watch out for DePaul's three-point shooting in this game, as the Blue Demons shot 43% from behind the arc in the first contest between the two teams.