THE DREAM IS ALIVE.
Thanks to a preposterous shooting night from Matt Carlino, a stat-stuffer performance extraordinaire from Derrick Wilson, strong showings from Duane Wilson and Luke Fischer, and -- in fairness -- a mail-it-in performance from the capsized Pirates of Seton Hall, YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles rolled through the opening round of the Big East Tournament, securing MU's first win in the BET since 2011 with a dominating 78-56 victory Wednesday night.
This game was over by the first media timeout, as Marquette roared out of the gates with 3-pointers from Carlino and Du. Wilson and lay-ins from Fischer and Juan Anderson to grab a quick 10-2 lead. Seton Hall battled back with three straight bunnies to trim the margin to 10-8, but Marquette responded with a 19-4 run -- featuring two more triples from Carlino, plus conventional three-point plays from Fischer and De. Wilson -- to blow this thing wide open by the under-4 timeout. The Pirates used 3-pointers from Sterling Gibbs and Isaiah Whitehead to cut the deficit to 10 with 15 seconds to play in the half, but Steve Taylor, Jr. banked in a triple of his own just before the halftime buzzer and MU's lead at the break was 13.
The second half started much like the first, as Carlino and Du. Wilson hit 3-pointers and Fischer poured in 5 points, and just like that, Marquette's lead had ballooned to 19 with 15 minutes to go. The margin soon grew to 25 after two more buckets from Duane Wilson, and then it was Carlino's time to shine, as the lefty bomber buried four 3-pointers in the last 10 minutes of the game to end the night with 26 points (9-18 from the floor, 8-12 from distance). Fischer tallied 14 points and 7 boards and rendered Big East Rookie of the Year Angel Delgado (9 points, 7 boards, 4 fouls) irrelevant, while Du. Wilson added 13 with 3 boards and 3 assists.
But special mention is due for Derrick Wilson, who racked up a 7-point, 4-rebound, 3-steal, FOURTEEN-assist performance in 38 minutes. Quite the showing for the little big man in what's likely -- but hopefully not -- his last win at Marquette.
Seton Hall's season ends with a 16-15 mark, which becomes all the more ridiculous when you remember that the Pirates were briefly ranked in the top 25 after beating Villanova on January 3. Since then, the Bucs are 4-13, having lost 9 of their last 10, having had a starter quit the team in February, and if Kevin Willard has a job tomorrow, there is no justice in this world.
But while the Hall licks its wounds, YOUR Golden Eagles ramble on to face the Wildcats of Villanova tomorrow at 11 a.m. CDT. And yes, 'Nova is 29-2, and yes, they haven't lost in like 7 weeks, and yes, they kicked the shit out of Marquette twice this year. But it's March. Let's get crazy and make a memory, I say.
Until tomorrow morning's (ugh) tip, then, this is your post-game jubilation thread.