Updated: Mar 11
Matt St. Jean and Tommy Godin will add their live thoughts from the tournament all day, so check back here for updates!
Matt St. Jean: Finally, the Championship is here. We've got two Midwestern schools. Two programs looking to win this game for the first time. And two of the best offenses in the country. We should be in for some fireworks tonight.
The last meeting was decided in the closing seconds, with Marquette and Xavier trading baskets in the final ten seconds. O-Max Prosper got the final word, with his put-back layup giving the Golden Eagles the home victory. That shot is the difference between these two teams this season.
Xavier and Marquette split the season series by a combined margin of five points. These two are very evenly matched. Flip a coin on who wins, but I can't imagine anything other than a high-stakes, action-packed, down-to-the-buzzer championship.
Both of these teams trailed by double-digits against lower-seeded opponents on Thursday. It didn't seem likely that either would make it to Friday, let alone Saturday. And yet, here we are. Let's do this. -4:57pm
Tommy Godin: Hello friends, we are live from the world's most famous arena! I am currently nursing the world's most gnarly hangover right now after that session last night, but this crowds energy is lifting me up as we speak. I would say that, right now, it is a pretty even 50/50 split of fans. The stage is set, and we're in for a good one folks. -6:26pm
Matt St. Jean: This is a perfect start for Marquette. Xavier's defense has no answers for Marquette's two-man games, and the Golden Eagle bench is pitching in as well. That Joplin corner three is exactly what we saw yesterday. Even Sean Jones got in on the fun with a floater. Meanwhile, Souley Boum, Adam Kunkel, and Jack Nunge are all scoreless through eight minutes. Xavier's offense has the firepower to create a comeback if it can get going; can the defense get enough stops to allow the Musketeers to start closing the gap? -6:57pm
Matt St. Jean: Souley Boum is 0-for-6 from the floor and 0-for-3 from deep. If Xavier hopes to mount a comeback, that's going to have to change in a hurry. Marquette's defense has been fantastic so far tonight, but that hasn't always been the case this season. We'll see if they can keep it up for forty minutes. -7:17pm
Tommy Godin: In 2015 Xavier trailed Villanova 34-21 at halftime, and the final score looked a as lopsided as the halftime. If the Musketeers want to reverse their fortune, they need to do it on the defensive end. Marquette averaged 1.2 points per possession in the first half, and extremely efficiently. The Marquette faithful are loud and proud, the Xavier fans have understandably been much quieter. This is going to be a fun one in the second half! 7:37pm
Matt St. Jean: After all the hype, I did not expect the Big East season to end like this. Marquette's defense took things to a new level this week, and Shaka has the Golden Eagles looking like a team ready to win two postseason tournaments. Maybe Xavier just ran out of gas, but we also saw this Marquette team against Baylor back in November. This is a group that is just plain amazing. The Golden Eagles have earned this. Time to sit back and enjoy the final five. -8:19pm