Marquette Golden Eagles (19-11, 8-9) vs Butler Bulldogs (20-9, 9-8)
Marquette Stat Leaders
Points: Henry Ellenson, 16.4 ppg
Rebounds: Henry Ellenson, 9.9 rpg
Assists: Traci Carter, 4.7 apg
Marquette Injury Update: Matt Heldt missed his third straight game on Tuesday due to a sprained knee. I wouldn't expect to see him in this game. Henry Ellenson left Tuesday's game with an injury and did not return. It was officially announced as a left ankle sprain, and he's listed as day-to-day. There's been no update since Wednesday, so I'd be leaning towards Ellenson playing.
Butler Stat Leaders
Points: Kellen Dunham, 16.4 ppg
Rebounds: Roosevelt Jones & Kelan Martin, 6.7 rpg
Assists: Roosevelt Jones, 4.7 apg
A Slight Note: Kelan Martin is averaging 16.3 points per game. That is a dangerous dude.
Butler Injury Note: Tyler Martin missed the first meeting between the two teams due to a concussion. He had started all but one of Butler's games before the injury, and he hasn't started in any of the seven games since he returned to action. His most minutes since his return was 20 in the first game back, and he played a season low seven minutes in Butler's last game, an 85-78 win over Seton Hall.
Current KenPom Rankings
KenPom Predictions: Butler has an 80% chance of victory, with a predicted score of 80-71.
What Happened Last Time: Henry Ellenson went for 32 points, 10 rebounds, and six blocks as Marquette won, 75-69. It was a good win at the time, and it still is, with the Bulldogs staying in the KenPom top 50. It didn't signify anything about Marquette, though, as the Golden Eagles have largely been treading water since then.
Since Last We Met: When Marquette beat Butler on January 30th, things appeared to be falling apart for the Bulldogs. They had been ranked in the top 10 in the country after going 11-1 in the non-conference section of the schedule, but the loss to Marquette sent them to 3-6 in Big East action. They've gone 6-2 since then, with the only losses coming at home to Xavier and on the road against Villanova. Both of those are "yeah, you lost your arm when you stuck it in the woodchipper, what did you expect?" kind of losses, so that's actually quite a very nice recovery by Butler. The losses are still weighing them down, as SB Nation bracket wizard Chris Dobbertean has them four spots clear from going to Daytonfor the First Four as of Friday morning.
Big East Tournament Seeding Implications For Marquette: You can go read Matt Velazquez's full breakdown of what needs to happen for each spot, but here's the simple version: If Marquette beats Butler, they can finish anywhere from the #4 seed to the #6 seed, meaning they avoid the opening night doubleheader. If Marquette loses to Butler, they will either be #7 or #8, meaning they have to play in the opening night double header.
Marquette Last 10 Games: 6-4, with wins in three of the last four games.
Butler Last 10 Games: 7-3, with the losses coming against Villanova, Xavier..... and your Marquette Golden Eagles. Butler has won their last two games.
All Time Series: Tied at 17 wins each.
Current Streak: Marquette's win earlier this season snapped a two game Butler winning streak against MU.
Henry Ellenson Watch: Let's start with the freshman records Ellenson has either already broken or has no chance to break: He has the free throws made (120) & free throws attempted (164) records, and his 46 blocks are second best to Jim McIlvaine's 92. Ellenson is now Marquette's all time leading freshman rebounder with 296, surpassing Bo Ellis' record of 264. We can't forget that with 13 points against Villanova, Ellenson became Marquette's leading freshman scorer, with his 491 points eclipsing Dominic James' previous record of 473.
His 172 field goals made are the third most by a freshman, trailing Dominic James' second place mark by just two and Doc Rivers in first place by 10; his 393 field goal attempts are 2nd most, trailing only Dominic James at 404.
Traci Carter Watch: Carter's 141 helpers are the third most assists by a freshman in Marquette history. This is a big deal, because he has essentially no shot at getting to second place (Dominic James, 167), much less the freshman record (Tony Miller, 221). He has the fourth most steals by a freshman with 46, and he needs four more to tie Dominic James for third.
Luke Fischer Watch: The junior from Germantown has the fifth most blocks for a Marquette junior at 46, and his next block will tie Dwayne (Not The Rock) Johnson in fourth place. He's just nine blocks away from moving into the top 10 in a season all time, by the way.
Haanif Cheatham Watch: Cheatham has moved up to the 2nd most free throws made by a freshman and the fifth most freshman free throw attempts. I feel like this is largely being overlooked due to Henry Ellenson already breaking both of those records. Yes, that's right, Cheatham has passed every other freshman except for Ellenson.
He does have a shot at breaking the freshman record for free throw percentage, as he's currently shooting 81.1% and Damon Key's record is 81.6%. Cheatham has 358 points on the season, leaving him alone with the seventh most by a Marquette freshman. Bo Ellis is up next at 378 points. Cheatham has the 10th most made field goals by a freshman, but he's still 24 FGAs away from that top 10. He needs two made threes to tie Anthony Pieper for the 10th most by a freshman. Cheatham needs one more assist to move into the freshman top 10 in that category, and four more steals for the freshman top 10 there.
Duane Wilson Watch: Wilson's worked himself up to a tie with Dominic James for the eighth most made three pointers amongst Marquette sophomores with 50. Mark Anglavar is up next at 53. His 148 three point attempts rank as the eighth most for Marquette sophomores as there's a huge gap between Darius Johnson-Odom (154) and David Cubillan (116).
Follow Along On Twitter:
@MarquetteMBB - Official Marquette account
@ButlerMBB - Official Butler account
@AnonymousEagle - Hey, that's us!
@ButlerWay - Our favorite Butler site's account
@becb_sbn - SB Nation's Big East site
@Matt_Velazquez - The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel MU beat reporter