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Marquette To Host Texas In Big East/Big 12 Battle

The conferences have made Jon Rothstein’s reporting official.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 29 Valero Alamo Bowl
That is Big Cow and they do not like you.
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UPDATE (4/6/23): The Big East and the Big 12 have made the matchups official.

Find yourself someone who loves you as much as Jon Rothstein loves breaking non-conference scheduling news.

On Wednesday afternoon, everyone’s favorite living Twitter meme went ahead and broke the news on the matchups for the 2023 Big East/Big 12 Battle in men’s basketball. As you can see from the headline, Marquette’s spot in The Battle will be as host to Texas.

Marquette is 1-0 all time against Texas. The only meeting between the two sides came back in December of 1977, and MU picked up the 65-56 victory in Milwaukee. That win moved Marquette to 6-1 on their way to following up their 1977 national championship with a 14-1 start to the season.

Texas is coming off an outstanding season on the court where they went 29-9 overall and 12-6 in Big 12 action. After finishing second in the conference behind Kansas, the Longhorns won the Big 12 tournament, including defeating Kansas for the second time in a week, cruising to a 76-56 victory. That put the finishing touches on a #2 seed for them, and they advanced to the Elite Eight before being eliminated from the NCAA tournament by Miami.

Off the court? A slightly different story as the season started with freshman Arterio Morris showing up on campus with a misdemeanor charge for family violence, and things got worse from there when head coach Chris Beard was arrested for a felony version of the same crime in mid-December. Assistant coach Rodney Terry took over the team as the interim head coach immediately and then carried that through for the rest of the season after the university terminated Beard’s contract as a result of his arrest. Terry was elevated to full time head coach following the conclusion of the NCAA tournament, making it his third stint as the top man following stretches at Fresno State and UTEP.

I suppose we can’t get out of here without pointing out that Chris Beard was the head coach at Texas because Shaka Smart resigned his post to take the Marquette job in the spring of 2021. After six seasons in Austin without an NCAA tournament victory, Smart snagged his first NCAA win since 2013 (and Marquette’s as well) this year by beating Vermont in the first round. He also posted his best seed in the NCAA tournament in his career when he got the Golden Eagles to a #2 seed, which also happens to be MU’s best seeding in program history. Smart has done this, of course, after being picked to finish ninth in the Big East in both of his seasons in the league and overperforming in both campaigns, first with a fifth place finish in 2022 and then by winning the Big East by multiple games in 2023. projects Texas as the #28 team in the country heading into the 2023-24 season. Marquette comes in at #3, so we can easily say right now that the Golden Eagles would be favored in the game, at least based on the information that we have right now. If you’re wondering off the top of your head why Marquette, a likely national championship contender next season, isn’t getting Kansas in The Battle, that question can be answered by both the Golden Eagles and the Jayhawks participating in the Maui Invitational. You can see why both leagues would prefer to avoid a game that we might get to see anyway.

Here’s the rest of the slate, according to Rothstein:

UConn at Kansas
Houston at Xavier
Villanova at Kansas State
St. John’s at West Virginia
Creighton at Oklahoma State
Providence at Oklahoma
Iowa State at DePaul
Texas Tech at Butler
TCU at Georgetown
Seton Hall at Baylor