Men's Basketball

MU Opens BIG EAST Play New Year's Day Against West Virginia

Dec. 30, 2010

MU-WVU Game Notes (PDF) Get Acrobat Reader | Live In-Game Blog

The Marquette University men's basketball team (9-4) opens up BIG?EAST Conference play Saturday morning at 10 a.m. CT when the squad welcomes West Virginia to the Bradley Center on New Year's Day. ESPN2 will feature MU's fifth national television broadcast of the campaign, with Jon Sciambi (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst) calling the action. The BIG EAST schedule features four games Saturday, with the MU-WVU matchup being the earliest opening tip in advance of several bowl games.

Golden Eagles Begin Sixth Season In BIG EAST

Saturday's matchup with West Virginia tips off Marquette's sixth year in the BIG?EAST Conference.

Picked eighth in the league's preseason coaches poll, Marquette is one of just two programs (Pittsburgh) to claim 10-or-more victories in conference play in each of the last five seasons.

MU is 14-7 all-time in conference openers (Midwestern Collegiate; 1-1, Great Midwest; 3-1, Conference USA; 7-3, BIG EAST; 3-2).

The Golden Eagles opened league action in 2007-08 with a convincing 96-67 home victory over Providence and followed that up with a 79-72 decision over Villanova in 2008-09.

The team defeated UConn in its first-ever BIG EAST game in 2005-06, but fell to the Friars in 2006-07 in the conference lidlifter. Last season, Marquette's upset bid at No. 6/6 West Virginia came up just short thanks to a Mountaineer buzzer beater, resulting in a 63-62 setback.

MU Sees Familiar 2009-10 Trend Carry Into This Year

In 2009-10, the Golden Eagles played in 16 games (34 total) decided by four-or-less points, the highest total by any program in the nation. No stranger to close contests, MU has already participated in three games in 2010-11 decided by a single possession and two others finishing with five-point margins.

Marquette's four losses this season have come by a total of just 14 points and three of the setbacks were against nationally ranked foes (No. 1 Duke, No. 22 Gonzaga, No. 24 Vanderbilt). MU and Michigan State are the two teams that have come closest to knocking off No. 1 Duke, with both squads falling by five points.

The Golden Eagles also own a 75-72 victory at Milwaukee on Nov. 27 and are 1-2 in one-possession contests in 2010-11 following Wednesday's 77-76 loss at Vanderbilt.

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