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A Mixed Bag, To Say The Least: Creighton 74, Marquette 63

The Golden Eagles can’t play 40 consistent minutes on either end and fall in the Big East quarterfinals.

NCAA Basketball: Big East Conference Tournament-Creighton vs Marquette Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

There were a lot of things going on in Marquette’s 74-63 loss to Creighton in the Big East tournament quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon.

There’s the 10 first half turnovers by the Golden Eagles against a Bluejays team that ranks in the bottom 40 in the country in defensive turnover rate.

There’s trailing by three at the half largely because of those sloppy turnovers.

There’s giving up a 10-5 burst to Creighton coming out of the locker room when you would think that aggressiveness and tenacity would be more than a requirement.

There’s immediately giving up a 7-0 run after an Olivier-Maxence Prosper and-1 to fall behind by 12 with 13 minutes left to play.

There’s falling behind by 13, 51-38, on an and-1 by Keyshawn Feazell, a guy who had attempted 73 total shots this season before tipoff at Madison Square Garden, with 11:27 to play.

There’s cutting that lead to six points only to immediately hand a 6-0 run back to the Bluejays.

There’s suddenly waking up with six minutes to play and going on a 13-3 run capped by a terrific Greg Elliott and-1 to make it a two-point game, 63-61, with 3:04 to play.

There’s getting outscored 11-2 the rest of the way.

There’s allowing 1.32 points per possession in the second half to Creighton after holding them to a somewhat expected without Ryan Nembhard 0.81 per trip in the first half.

There’s getting just four non-turnover stops in the entire second half, as pointed out by Friend of the Show Matt DeMarinis.

The three minute stretch where Marquette played like their hair was on fire was easily the best three minute stretch of the game. It’s weird, because for those three minutes, Marquette looked like they had when they were playing their best basketball this season. High energy, tipping passes, allowing nothing easy, flying around the court on both ends, all the kinds of things that you want to see from your basketball team, generally speaking.

The other 37 minutes? Not so much with any of that. I get that it’s not easy to play like that for 40 minutes.... but when you’re clearly so much better when you’re playing like that, you’d like to see a lot more of it.

Up Next: Selection Sunday! Sure, this game kinda stunk on a lot of levels, but that’s not going to change much about Marquette’s NCAA future. Bracket Matrix updated on Thursday morning, and the Golden Eagles were averaging out as a #8 seed on the 123 projections that the Matrix was tracking. Losing to a Creighton team that’s 10 spots clear of the cutline isn’t going to suddenly knock MU out of the field, much less even all the way to the First Four in Dayton.