Don't underestimate Marquette
Efficiency on both sides of ball could push Golden Eagles to top of Big East
When Tom Crean left Marquette in 2008 to take the head coaching job at Indiana, the Golden Eagles surprised some observers by turning to then-assistant coach Buzz Williams. In his three full seasons at the helm, however, Williams has consistently made his bosses look smart. Marquette has made six consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, and the early indications suggest this season's 8-0 team may be the best since a certain rather prominent member of the Miami Heat led the program to the 2003 Final Four.
So much for the good news; now for the fine print. I said "early" indications. Take all the usual "it's only December" caveats and multiply them by two. We still have precious few data points on Marquette, and frankly one of the ones we do have -- a two-point win over Norfolk State in the Virgin Islands right before Thanksgiving -- isn't terribly complimentary. That being said, I think Williams' team merits your attention -- even if it, like every other team, can suffer an occasional off night. Here's why ...
To see why Marquette could threaten Syracuse, Pitt and Louisville for the Big East crown, sign up for ESPN Insider.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- Game-worn MJ shoes from UNC sell for $33K
- Dayton dismisses pair for violation of rules
- Kentucky still unanimous No. 1 in men's poll
- Iowa's Big Four Classic extended through 2017
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider College Basketball
New on Insider
Lunardi: Pac-12 locked into 2 bids?
Player Rankings: Davis over Robinson for POY
Lunardi: Where UW, Northwestern fall
Hume: Bid thieves are few
Bilas: Sizing up the Big East
Gasaway: Pac-12 stronger than it seems
Hume: Best bets among bubble teams
Lunardi: VCU may be first bid thief
Ford: Time running out for 5 NBA prospects
Lunardi: How UConn, Texas, others earn bids
Lunardi: Latest look at the bubble
Fraschilla: Previewing Big 12 tournament
Bilas Index: UNC remains at No. 3
Pomeroy: Trends predict UNC-Duke clash
Lunardi: No No. 1 seed for Big Ten?
Player Rankings: Purdue's pivotal players
Ford: Will MKG, Cody Zeller stay in school?
Gasaway: Rebounding won't crush Orange
Telep: UCLA's top recruits remain committed
Bilas: How Michigan State can still improve
Bilas: Keys to the Hoyas' continued success
Lunardi: Watch out for NCAA bid thieves
Lunardi Rundown: Kentucky is No. 1 overall
Bilas Index: Kansas returns to the top five
Make smart bracket picks by spotting Cinderella early.
And don't forget these Insider mainstays:
Doug Gottlieb, Fran Fraschilla, Joe Lunardi and Jay Williams offer their opinions.
Insights from the mind of the College Gameday analyst.
The national recruiting analyst weighs in on news and rumors surrounding the top high school prospects.
Stay on top of all the latest recruiting buzz.
Every D-1 player's efficiency rating.