I have personally spent a lot of energy advocating that Marquette men’s basketball should figure out a way to get themselves invited to the Battle 4 Atlantis. It’s the only major Feast Week event that the Golden Eagles haven’t played in yet, and we’re 13 years in and it still hasn’t happened.
On Friday, Marquette made announcement that seems personally targeted to annoy me. On November 23, 2024, Shaka Smart’s basketball team will be headed to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, the home of Battle 4 Atlantis, to face Georgia. It is a one-off game and not the tournament, as the B4A tournament is being held November 27th through 29th.
Just so we’re clear on this: Marquette is going to travel 1,500 miles, give or take, leave the country, play one game, and come home. Given the timing of this game relative to Thanksgiving, Marquette might not play another game before the holiday.
Interestingly, the women’s Battle 4 Atlantis tournament has been held on the Saturday/Sunday/Monday before Thanksgiving since its inception. This Marquette/Georgia game is on that Saturday this coming November. B4A hasn’t announced a women’s field yet. That’s weird.
Marquette is 2-1 all time against Georgia. They won the first two meetings, a one-off in Milwaukee in December 1974 and the front end of a home-and-home in December 2016. You can follow the signs here, and yes, that means the Golden Eagles lost the home game side of that series in December 2017.
We’re not going to speculate about the state of Georgia’s roster 10 months from now, but we can say that Mike White is currently in his second season in charge of the Bulldogs. Georgia currently stands at 13-4 overall but with a 4-4 record against the top two quadrants and a NET ranking of 79 on Friday morning, it certainly looks like they are not headed to the NCAA tournament right now. If that holds up, the Bulldogs will make it nine straight seasons without a postseason appearance and they will be without an NCAA tournament victory since 2002. White is attempting to guide Georgia to their first winning seasons since Tom Crean went 14-12 in The Weirdest College Basketball Season Ever as well as their first winning SEC mark since 2016.
I don’t know if you can tell, but I am not particularly thrilled by this game announcement.