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The Quick And The Dirty: Butler: ∞, Marquette: π

Oy vey

NCAA Basketball: Butler at Marquette Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

I have 2 reactions when the teams I root for piss themselves. You saw one of them earlier this year, which is where everything around me becomes a major inconvenience and I just rant until I fall asleep. You’re about to see my next reaction, coming out of Marquette‘s 92-72 loss to Butler on Wednesday night: nihilism. Everything sucks and nothing matters. I’m not even going to eat Arby’s. Give me Raising Cane’s to drown out my meaningless life.

Marquette’s defense actually wasn’t awful to start the game. They forced some turnovers and tough shots for the first 8 minutes. Road Markus Howard also showed up at the Bradley Center, so you figured the rest of the offense would show up.

They didn’t.

I counted three times where a player threw it to the Butler bench in the first half with no one around. Sam Hauser wasn’t hitting shots for the first time in his life. Jamal Cain missed an open corner three, which is essentially original sin for him at this point of the season. Matt Heldt made both of his free throws, at least. He will never let us down.

Everything just kind of kept falling apart. Tyler Wideman turned into Jared Sullinger down low, grabbing pretty much every Butler miss and immediately finishing. Something called a Sean McDermott made a fadeaway three from the logo with 1 second left on the shot clock. They just sucked the life out of the team early, which is also weird because Marquette normally doesn’t let games blow up like this.

That’s about it. The second half wasn’t much different. That’s kind of a copout summary because I was too busy being sad to pay that much attention to the specifics.

I have more thoughts about the defense and why treating it as a stable, unchanging negative in order to shine a spotlight on any offensive issues in a loss might not be the greatest take, but I’ll expand on that in my Three Things piece. That’s called a tease. Little insight to the business for ya.

I don’t mean this in the condescending way that you’d probably expect from a blogger that thinks he’s all that, but try to remove yourself from the Two Hours Of Suck and try to look at it as a piece of the larger puzzle that is the season. I said after the Seton Hall game that letdown games seem to happen after great games because the reason those great games are surprising is because that’s not their true talent level. The same applies to a game like this.

We are getting to that point in the season, though, where you can’t just throw your hands in the air and yell, “Unsustainable!” when they play a game that appears out of the ordinary. The results actually do need to start showing up. I don’t know if it’s a lineup change that they need, but it’s probably not enough to simply try and power through the glaring flaws at this point.

If they do beat Providence in their next game coming up on Saturday, they’re probably projected to be in Dayton in the next round of bracketologies. But with only a few opportunities for good wins left, the margin for error dramatically shrinks with this blowout. So for the pessimists, the season isn’t over. For the optimists, maybe stay out of the pessimists’ way.