On Sunday, January 28, Marquette will be hosting #1 Villanova at the Bradley Center in a major nationally televised game on Fox. It comes just one year and four days after the Golden Eagles knocked off the #1 ranked Wildcats in the BC, giving MU their first ever regular season victory over a #1 ranked opponent. To both celebrate the anniversary and preview Sunday’s game, we’re going to let the AE staff tell you their stories and memories from that January 2017 night.
I would like to start this story by saying that, when Marquette beat #1 ranked Villanova on January 24th, 2017, I had been 23 for 19 days, I was in my last semester at Marquette as a fifth-year engineering student, and I was in business casual.
Yes, business casual.
At the time (and actually, still now), I had a press pass, and got to sit next to the NBA scouts and real journalists while I wrote for Big East Coast Bias, our sister site here on SB Nation that covers the entire Big East. Sure, I was primarily a Marquette writer, but I was supposed to be objective. I was even live tweeting from the Big East Coast Bias Twitter account (and my own personal one).
I was sitting next to my buddy Dave, a journalism student working for the Marquette Wire, the student media for campus. I was in what I now wear to work, a button down shirt, dress pants, and dress shoes, and I was WAYYYY more worried about getting back to my campus job after the game (I was, and am proudly an alumni of, the bartending staff at Caffrey’s Pub) so I could make money on the students coming in to have a few after-game drinks to, what I assumed, forget about how bad we got whacked by Villanova.
And.....well, you know what happened. Every part of my body tensed up as Jalen Brunson drove to the rim, it fell off, Sam Hauser (my all-time favorite player) grabbed the rebound, and the Bradley Center BLEW THE HELL UP.
Here was my Twitter feed.
For those wondering, I have sold my soul. Believe it or not, you get a good price on the black market.
I stormed the court from press row. Dave and I went wild, jumping around like little kids in the middle of professional journalists, hugging, and then sprinting down the steps from section 216 to the floor, to meet up with every student we didn’t know and just go completely insane.
So yes, picture this: a tall, gangly, uncoordinated, unathletic, glasses-on-face, business casual wearing kid screaming for joy, sprinting down the steps of the Bradley Center to jump around on the court, the only time I’d ever get to do so, in my last semester of the school I still call home, having been a freshman during the Elite 8 year, having sat through every bad season in between, damn near bawling my eyes out.
It was the best day of my life, and I don’t see a better day coming along for a very long time.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Business casual and all.