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The Basketball Tournament 2017: #1 Golden Eagles 84, #4 Purple & Black 77

The Marquette alumni are back in TBT’s regional championship game for the second straight year!

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Thanks to Davante Gardner’s 20 point performance, #1 seed Golden Eagles, the team of Marquette alumni, defeated #4 seed Purple & Black, the Kansas State alumni, in the Super 16 round of the 2017 edition of The Basketball Tournament by a final score of 84-77. Golden Eagles advance to Sunday’s Midwest region championship game where they will tangle with #2 seed Scarlet & Gray, the team of Ohio State alumni.

Four Factors vs Purple & Black

Golden Eagles Category Purple & Black
Golden Eagles Category Purple & Black
53.4% eFG% 56.4%
16.7% TO% 24.2%
32.4% OR% 38.9%
42.4% FTR 47.3%
1.17 Pts/Poss 1.09

For most of the first half, the K-State guys were able to hold onto a slim margin. I don’t think it was enough to say they were in control of the game, but Purple & Black definitely had a lead for most of the time. Don’t get me wrong, the Marquette guys had some leads here and there, but it definitely felt like a Wildcat tilted affair. Golden Eagles did end the half on a burst, though, and went to the locker room with a narrow 40-39 advantage.

P&B came out of the locker room with an 11-2 run to wrest the lead back from the Marquette guys and take a 50-42 lead. Not great! Golden Eagles bounced back thanks to some uncontested fast break points, and I do mean uncontested, right down to Jacob Pullen opting to turn to complain to the referee while the ball was still right at his feet and still in play. That is a high caliber of quitting on the play, because can you really quit on a play before your opponent even has possession of it?

It took until the 7:32 mark of the second half before Golden Eagles got their first lead since halftime when Gardner popped home a pair of freebies to put his squad up 66-65. After Purple & Black counter-punched, GE rattled off a 9-0 run, featuring new school threes from Jamil Wilson and Darius Johnson-Odom and an old school three-point-play from Jerel McNeal. That made it 75-69 with 3:41 to go and the former MU stars put the clamps on to end it from there.

Gardner added six rebounds to lead the way, and DJO’s 11/2/5 game is nothing to sneeze about, either. Marquette was passable from behind the three-point arc in the game, knocking down 36% of their attempts, while K-State just blew right the hell up. The former Wildcats were 12-of-27 from long range, including a 5-of-10 outing just form Jacob Pullen alone. Pullen finished with a game high 25 points, but it wasn’t enough to get past Golden Eagles on this particular day.

Up Next: Golden Eagles have a quick turnaround, as they’ll square off with Scarlet & Gray in the first of the four regional championship games on Sunday. The former Buckeyes advanced with an 81-72 victory over last year’s Midwest region champion, Always A Brave. Tipoff is scheduled for 11am Central, with the broadcast set for ESPN. The Worldwide Leader sure does like putting Marquette on the primary channel, I tell you what.