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The You Have To Be Kidding Me: Marquette 70, Butler 67

What an amazingly stupid performance.

Marquette v Providence Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

I have an idea.

I don’t know if this is actually going to work like I want it to, but I’m typing this up as stream of consciousness and telling you what I’m doing as I go.

I’m just going to tell you the margin of the game at each five minute increment of Tuesday afternoon’s Marquette men’s basketball game against Butler Bulldogs. I think this will illustrate the point much better than crafting a story about what happened in the game.

Here we go.

15:00, 1st half — Marquette by 3

10:00, 1st half — Marquette by 8

5:00, 1st half — Marquette by 9

Halftime — Marquette by 12

15:00, 2nd half — Marquette by 13

10:00, 2nd half — Marquette by 17

5:00, 2nd half — Marquette by 14

Final — Marquette by 3

Yep. Three. Led by 17 at the three-quarters pole, won by three. Had a five possession lead with five minutes left, won by three. Had a Jamal Cain dunk with 12:20 to go to lead by 18, won by three.

In fact, let’s take the final five minutes.

5:00, 2nd half — Marquette by 14

4:00, 2nd half — Marquette by 12

3:00, 2nd half — Marquette by 12 (no one scored at all)

2:00, 2nd half — Marquette by 7 (uh oh, there went the back passenger tire)

1:00, 2nd half — Marquette by 9 (hey, wait, are we okay?)

Final — Marquette by 3

No, seriously. Go read the play by play yourself. It was that stupid. Actually, no, it was stupider, because Butler had the ball with 15 seconds to go down three after Koby McEwen split a pair of free throws. And then there was a stoppage and I don’t even remember why because my brain was melting out of my ears at the time, but Butler was inbounding with eight seconds left. The play broke down. Straight up fell apart. The Bulldogs had no idea what to do. Marquette refused to foul while leading by three, even though multiple Bulldogs had no intention of even looking at the rim for the three-pointer that they needed to tie. And then, Jair Bolden got off a relative to the previous seven seconds fantastic look at the rim.

Missed. Marquette wins, 70-67.

They shouldn’t have won.

If it was a 41 minute game, Marquette loses, easily, and honestly, it wasn’t because of just the final five minutes. The Golden Eagles were setting themselves up for a problem from the get-go. Marquette’s first turnover of the game came with 17:38 left in the first half as Koby McEwen gave it away for what would be the first of eight times in this game. By the time we reached halftime, Marquette had coughed up the ball nine times. The fact that they were shooting the lights out obscured the fact that 28% of MU’s possessions ended in a turnover, because the white hot shooting is why Marquette was up 33-21 at the break.

12 more turnovers in the second half. Nine in the first half for a very terrible 20 minutes, and apparently “stop acting like an idiot with the ball” was not brought up in the locker room because it just got worse. Hell, you can argue that the final shot of the game by Bolden only happened the way it did because of McEwen’s eighth and final turnover of the game. Butler finally got around to pressing and trapping Marquette when the Bulldogs needed to extend the game, and uh, it didn’t go well for the Golden Eagles. McEwen received the inbounds in the far corner as we were watching on TV with Marquette up five and 23 seconds to go, and he just immediately turtled up over the ball. Didn’t try to pivot and draw a foul, didn’t try to pass, just folded himself up over the ball. Butler’s Chuck Harris just stuck his hands in where McEwen was trying to hide the ball, and boom, immediate tie up jump ball whistle from the refs. A perfect call, straight out of the textbook, one we all saw coming, all of us except Koby McEwen. Why? Well, because Butler had the possession arrow in their favor, so of course Harris tied McEwen up as soon as he could to prompt the change of possession. Bolden hits a three right after the inbounds, and ta-da, we get to where we are going.

Just awful.

Perhaps the textbook example of a debilitating and deflating win. Sure, Marquette snapped a three game losing streak, but is anyone happy about it? Seriously, if you’re excited and can’t wait for the next MU game as a result of this win, explain why in the comments, because my default setting is to ask who hurt you.

18 points from by McEwen and D.J. Carton led the way for Marquette, with Carton adding nine rebounds and three assists to his day. Jamal Cain added 10 and seven rebounds, while Dawson Garcia had 14 points, two rebounds, and a steal. The freshman from Minnesota attempted just six field goals in the entire game, going 5-for-6 with the miss coming on one of his two long range attempts. Marquette’s leading scorer didn’t officially attempt a field goal in the final 13:37 of the game, although he did shoot two free throws in the final 30 seconds. Can you explain that, because I can’t.

How about some highlights, such as they are, courtesy of and FS1?

Up Next: Your next experience with the needlessly thrill-o-matic that is Marquette men’s basketball is on Saturday. The Golden Eagles will play host to Creighton, as the #15 ranked Bluejays make their way to Fiserv Forum. Six weeks ago, Marquette beat Creighton in Omaha to move to 5-2 on the season and notch the program’s second top 10 win of the year. Things have gone sideways since.