A little over $96,000 and a trip to Chicago was on the line at Charles Koch Arena in Wichita on Sunday afternoon. It was the title game for the Wichita regional for this summer’s version of The Basketball Tournament, and 25% of the ticket proceeds from the four days of hoops were going to the winner, along with a spot in the quarterfinals.
#1 seeded Golden Eagles, your favorite Marquette Golden Eagles alumni team, left little doubt that it was going to be them moving one step closer to the winner-take-all $2 million prize.
They would never score more than seven points in a row, achieved right off the bat to turn it into a 9-2 game, but somehow the lead just kept ballooning, cresting at 19 midway through the third quarter. It stayed in the neighborhood, drifting down to 15 when the Elam Ending started. #6 seeded Sideline Cancer made a push very very very late, outscoring Golden Eagles 16-6 and ripping off seven straight themselves to pull within five points, but Jamil Wilson answered with a triple to give the Marquette guys the eight points they needed to win plus one more. Your final: 88-80.
It was Wilson’s sixth made triple of the game, albeit on 15 attempts, but it gave him 22 points and eight rebounds in his first appearance in this year’s event after missing the first two games of the regional. Still, 6-for-15 is still 40%, and it still gave him a 58% effective field goal percentage for the game, which is pretty great.
You know what’s better than 58%? 100%. With four made threes on four attempts, that was Dwight Buycks’ eFG% for the game. He was 9-for-11 inside the arc, and with the three-point bonuses, that bounces his shooting percentage of 81% up to a perfect 100% in terms of efficiency. Buycks finished with a game hight 34 points, roasting and toasting Sideline Cancer seemingly at will. In his free time, he added five rebounds and three assists.
Andrew Rowsey finished with just 12 points, but he didn’t miss a single one of his five shot attempts. Is an eFG% of 120% good? I’m asking for a friend.
It’s good news that Wilson and Buycks were electrifying for Golden Eagles on this particular day. It seems that Elgin Cook used up whatever magic he had coursing through him to hit the game winner on Saturday. The hero of the day just 24 hours earlier missed all seven of his attempts in this one, finishing with just one point to go with four rebounds and three assists.
Here’s some highlights, courtesy of TBT:
Up Next: While we don’t have to wait all the way til next weekend for the next game, it doesn’t qualify as a quick turnaround for Golden Eagles after three games in three days. They’ll be off until Thursday night when they face Jackson TN in the second game of a quarterfinal doubleheader at Wintrust Arena in Chicago. Jackson TN was the #8 seed in the Memphis region, but still managed to win the whole shebang and get to the quarterfinals. As such, they can not be taken lightly.
Tipoff is set for 8pm Central on ESPNU, although as the second game after the Ohio State alumni face off against Eberlein Drive, we can’t quite guarantee that start time. If you’re in the Chicago area, you should probably consider making the trip and give Wintrust its very familiar golden hue when a Marquette team is in action.