Golden Eagles deserve respect
If you asked college basketball fans outside of Wisconsin what teams tied for first place in the Big East Conference, what percentage of fans would correctly include Marquette? It seems like the Golden Eagles (23-7), ranked 12 in the most recent AP top 25, have been a national afterthought all season long.
Perhaps its because they came into the season unranked. Perhaps its because they were projected by the so-called "experts" to finish seventh in the conference. Or perhaps its because they don't have a player included on the first-team all-Big East squad. Each of the previous facts make up the backbone of why head coach Buzz Williams deserved to be named Big East Coach of the Year. Sadly, Williams was, you guessed it - overlooked - as Georgetown's John Thompson III won the award.
The 2013 version of the Big East tournament will receive a wealth of media attention. Not only because its being played at Madison Square Garden in New York City, but also because it will be the final tournament of its kind. Sure, the Big East name and tournament will continue next season and beyond, but gone from the mix will be conference powers such as Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Louisville.
Simply put, the Golden Eagles have a golden opportunity to prove what many of the people reading this already know - they are not to be overlooked any longer.
The names on the back of their jerseys may not be "household" to the rest of the nation, but the name on the front of the jersey says it all. Marquette basketball is about relentless effort and a never-give-up attitude that starts with Williams and cascades through the team to the 11th man. That effort will be on display Thursday night against rival Notre Dame.
The Golden Eagles received a bit of national love on Wednesday. Check out this piece by Luke Wynn from CNNSI.