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The Two Collapses: Drafting Marquette’s mind-numbing finishes

Two masochists pull out the very short history book and pick their favorite losses of the last two Marquette seasons.

NCAA Basketball: Marquette at Seton Hall Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

As weird as it is to think about, at this time last week there was real basketball to think about and worry over. A little bit before that, on March 7, Marquette men’s basketball was in the process of losing yet another embarrassing game to St. John’s. Given that this all but cemented the end of the season being considered a “collapse” for the second straight year, I threw out an idea.

This prompted a brief discussion on Twitter that led to individual correspondence between myself and fellow AE writer/actual very talented journalist Connor Lagore. Nothing in this world is better than a draft. Not the unconditional love of a mother, not the wedding episode of Full House, not even the Big O burger from Oscar’s. As such, Connor and I decided to turn the Golden Eagles’ two collapses into a draft...

of sadness!

Via text conversation, we drafted every loss from the last two seasons, starting with the road loss to Villanova on February 27 in the 2018-19 season, and the road loss to Villanova on February 12 in 2019-20. Symmetry is a real bitch, ain’t it? There were no specific terms of how we would pick these games. I picked based on Total Sadness Accumulated. Sadness at the time of the loss and present sadness were weighted equally.

*An interjection from me, Connor* Yeah this sucked. Well it was fun, sort of, but mostly it sucked. My preparation just involved pulling up the Marquette schedules from this year and last and deciding which losses made me think “Jesus Christ, this was horrible” more. *Interjection over*

Without further ado, here are our picks.

Marquette’s 2019 and 2020 implosion losses

Connor Ben
Connor Ben
2020 Senior Day to Seton Hall 2019 Senior Day to Georgetown
2020 at DePaul 2019 Murray State
2019 at Seton Hall (regular season) 2019 vs Seton Hall (Big East Tournament)
2019 at Villanova 2019 vs Creighton
2020 at St. John's 2020 vs Creighton
2020 at Providence 2020 at Villanova

Ben: I think my first three picks are high value. Senior Day to Georgetown last year involved a bad performance to a terrible team, emotional stakes of Matt Heldt’s senior moment being ruined and the Big East regular season title fading away, and the realization that the team would probably not have the tournament run we thought they would.

I’m also a bit shocked that the Seton Hall Big East tournament loss fell that low. I didn’t pick it till then partially because they mostly played well in that game. It felt like a separate event from the collapse as a whole, even though the flagrant decisions still incense me to this day.

My favorite value pick might be the 2019 loss to Creighton. It was sneakily horrible. Read the recap if you want an idea of how bad it was. Probably the peak of the team’s turnover issues that plagued them at the end of the 2019 season.

Connor: First of all, Ben, I’m surprised to see that the reason I was secretly envious of your first two picks (despite the fact that I picked other things head of each of them) you failed to mention completely: The last home game and last game in a Marquette uniform for Sam Hauser and Joey Hauser. Granted, if we’re drafting these in the context of how bad they were at the time, that doesn’t matter, but it’s hard to ignore it.

My first pick was largely a pure emotional impact pick, arguably the saddest day for Marquette fans in a long time — One of the most enjoyable players we’ve ever seen giving one last storybook performance in front of his adoring fans for the last time, and his compatriots never even got off the bus. I mean, wow, of all of the times to have a potentially legendary final home game, you’d hope it was one where you’re not playing 1-on-5. C’est la vie.

My two favorite picks were my back-to-back choices of the 2019 Seton Hall and Villanova games, pretty much because going back into them elicited a “holy shit, oh no” from me. The Villanova game was plain and simple: 18 turnovers. That is stupid. The SHU loss was a bit more impressive. After scoring to go up by 9 with 4:40 left to play, the Golden Eagles straight-up did not score for the rest of the game, giving up an 18-0 run, which was a smaller part of a 73-64 run. Basketball: a game of runs!

Man, this was a bummer.