THE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT 2018
#3 Golden Eagles vs #15 Talladega Knights
WE’RE BACK! After a 25 day layoff, your favorite team of Marquette alumni return to action BRIGHT AND EARLY on Saturday morning in Atlanta, broadcast live and in color on ESPN.
Golden Eagles advanced to the Super 16 round of TBT this season by knocking off two teams of Big East alumni back in Milwaukee at the start of the month, and both wins ended up being by fairly easy margins at the end of the game. Neither game started out that way, though, but Golden Eagles caught fire late to pull away with ease. It was Jamil Wilson going bananas in the first game, connecting on four straight threes to close the first half to push him to a 9-for-16 shooting day from beyond the arc. In game #2 against Hall In, Maurice Acker carried the day, loading up for a game high 25 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the three-point stripe. The MU guys got good performances across the board, but it was noted former Oregon Duck Elgin Cook that may have been the secret sauce, especially in game #2. He finished that one with 17 points, six rebounds, and an assist, and he looked relatively relaxed doing it, too.
The MU team will be facing off with #15 seeded Talladega Knights, the lowest seed to ever reach the Super 16 round of TBT. They got here by winning three games in three days last weekend. First they won their play in game over Queens Struggle, 81-69. Somehow things got easier from there for them. Frantz Massenat went for 22 points, five rebounds, and six assists against #2 seeded HBC Sicklerville as the Knights won by 20. The next day, it was Novar Gadson doing the damage, missing just four of his 16 shots on the day as he poured in 30 to continue the Cinderella run by beating Team Arkansas, 91-74. Now they’re here in Atlanta, just four wins away from $2 million, just like Golden Eagles. They’re definitely not going to be afraid of anyone at this point.
The winner of Golden Eagles/Talladega Knights will advance to Sunday, where they’ll play the winner of Northeast #1 seed Boeheim’s Army (the Syracuse dudes) vs #4 Armored Athlete. God bless the AA guys, but I think we all know it would be best for business if we ended up with a Marquette/Syracuse quarterfinal contest.
The two Northeast region games aren’t the only ones we’re getting on Saturday. The West region will also be settling out their two quarterfinal combatants. One game will give us the top seeded and 2017 runner-up Team Challenge ALS tangling with #4 seed Sons of Westwood (aka the UCLA guys), while the other matchup gives us #3 seed Gael Force (the Saint Mary’s guys) going against #7 seed Eberlein Drive. The SMC crew has been off for one day longer than the Marquette guys, as they emerged from the Spokane Hoopfest pod at the end of June.
Here’s your schedule for the day. All times are Central, and all games will be streamed via WatchESPN.
10am: #3 Golden Eagles vs #15 Talladega Knights (ESPN)
12pm: #1 Boeheim’s Army vs #4 Armored Athlete (ESPN)
2pm: #1 Team Challenge ALS vs #4 Sons of Westwood (ESPN)
4pm: #3 Gael Force vs #7 Eberlein Drive (ESPNU)