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Marquette’s Quarterfinal Streak Is Over

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A 15 year streak of success in the Big East tournament has come to an end

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

On Wednesday afternoon, Marquette men’s basketball played in their first game of the 2021 Big East tournament. If you watched it, I’m sorry. Marquette lost to Georgetown, 68-49, in a game where the Golden Eagles never showed any ability to be competitive with the Hoyas.

And so, MU’s Big East tournament run is over, almost before it even started, and almost before the actual tournament started. After all, that was the very first game of the 10 game event.

Marquette’s run in this year’s conference tournament also ended before Marquette is used to their Big East tournament run ending. 2021 is the first time since the Golden Eagles joined the Big East that they have been eliminated from the conference tournament before reaching the quarterfinals.

15 previous conference tournaments, 15 quarterfinal appearances. In fact, when the Big East that MU joined broke up, Marquette was the only team that had run through to that point and reached the quarterfinals every single year.

It’s true! Check this out.

Marquette joined the league in 2005, making the lineup of teams in the Big East look like this:

Cincinnati
Connecticut
DePaul
Georgetown
Louisville
Marquette
Notre Dame
Pittsburgh
Providence
Rutgers
St. John’s
Seton Hall
South Florida
Syracuse
Villanova
West Virginia

2006

Back then, not all 16 teams in the league even made the Big East tournament, so toodle-oo to DePaul, Providence, St. John’s, and South Florida right out of the gate. Cincinnati, Louisville, Notre Dame, and Seton Hall all lost in the first round, leaving these eight still alive in the quarterfinals. Marquette snagged the #4 seed and thus got a bye all the way into the quarterfinals without even playing a game first.

Connecticut
Georgetown
Marquette
Pittsburgh
Rutgers
Syracuse
Villanova
West Virginia

2007

Rutgers finished in the bottom four, so they’re out. Connecticut lost as the #12 seed to Syracuse, so they’re out. Marquette came in as the #6 seed, and beat #11 St. John’s to advance to the quarters.

Georgetown
Marquette
Pittsburgh
Syracuse
Villanova
West Virginia

2008

#9 seed Syracuse loses to #8 seed Villanova, thus breaking their streak. Marquette is the #6 for the second year in a row, and they beat #11 Seton Hall this time to get to the next round.

Georgetown
Marquette
Pittsburgh
Villanova
West Virginia

2009

This was the first year that all 16 teams qualified. This also means that Georgetown gets turfed from the list for losing as the #12 seed to #13 St. John’s in the first round. Marquette is the #5 seed and then beats that Johnnies squad to get the quarterfinals.

Marquette
Pittsburgh
Villanova
West Virginia

2010

All four teams with a quarterfinal streak make it to the quarterfinals again here. MU is the #5 seed, and they down #13 St. John’s for the second straight year to get into the quarterfinals.

Marquette
Pittsburgh
Villanova
West Virginia

2011

#10 seed Villanova gets caught here, going down 70-69 to #15 South Florida in the first round. Marquette has to play on the first day as the #11 seed, and they beat #14 Providence there before downing #6 seed West Virginia in the second round to 1) extend their streak and 2) end the ‘Eers streak.

Marquette
Pittsburgh

2012

And then there was one. #13 Pittsburgh gets past #12 St. John’s in the first round, but gets knocked out in the second round by #5 Georgetown. They’re off the list. MU starts the tournament as the #2 seed and are thus promoted directly to the quarterfinals.

Marquette

2013

This was a 14 team tournament due to Connecticut being ineligible for postseason play and West Virginia leaving the conference already. Marquette is the only team still holding a quarterfinals streak and, as the #3 seed, they started play in that round to keep the streak alive.

Marquette

2014

And now, The Reformation. The league alters its membership, adding Butler, Creighton, and Xavier to bring things to a ten member total. However, Butler loses in the first round as the #9 seed, thus eliminating themselves from this conversation before it could even involve them. With the league membership down to 10 teamsIt does get easier to get to the quarterfinals here, as the top six teams in the league automatically advance straight there with a bye instead of only the top four.

Creighton
Marquette
Xavier

2015

Marquette starts as the #9 seed and womps Seton Hall on Day 1 to advance to the quarterfinals.

Creighton
Marquette
Xavier

2016

Marquette is the #7 seed this year, and they get through a wild one with St. John’s in the first round to reach the quarterfinals for the 11th straight season.

Creighton
Marquette
Xavier

2017

Marquette’s status as the #4 seed in the league advances them directly to the quarterfinals for a 12th straight year.

Creighton
Marquette
Xavier

2018

#7 Marquette downs #10 DePaul in the first round to advance to the quarterfinals for lucky #13.

Creighton
Marquette
Xavier

2019

The second best team in the league obviously reaches the quarterfinals, so that’s where MU starts their tournament off.

Creighton
Marquette
Xavier

2020

Yes, the Big East tournament did not reach a conclusion and crown a champion a year ago. However, the quarterfinal round actually began, which means it was completely 100% set. That means we get to shuffle Xavier off here, as they lost in the first round to #10 DePaul. Marquette was the #6 seed, which means that they dodged the first day doubleheader and were slated to start their part of the tournament in the quarterfinals against #3 Seton Hall.

Creighton
Marquette

2021

Whatever Wednesday afternoon was happened, and now the streak is over with the Hoyas moving on to Thursday instead of Marquette. A streak of 15 straight appearances in the quarterfinals has been smashed to bits like a guitar in the hands of Jeff Jarrett.

Shouts to Creighton, as the Bluejays get to continue on with the banner in the quarterfinals on Thursday against Butler. It’s only an eight year streak for Creighton in the Big East, but hey, you gotta start somewhere.

As for Marquette, they’re going to have to try to start a new streak next season. Steve Wojciechowski is the guy who was in charge of breaking the streak, and it certainly looks like he’ll end up being the guy who is in charge of starting a new one. Should he be that guy? That’s a different question.