Bracketbreaker Challenge: Marquette
The 2007-2008 team that I believe has the most likely opportunity to be this year's Cinderella squad is the Marquette Golden Eagles.
Is it because Golden Eagles are among some of the most impressive birds of prey? Of course.
But honestly, beyond random shots in the dark (which are usually statistically equal to "tried-and-tested" methods for picking upsets), there is some logic to this selection.
Marquette comes from a college hoops powerhouse, the Big East Conference, and has been tested both in and out of its conference. Its losses illustrate why the team is lucky to be a 6-seed.
With the exception of a few close losses to good teams (Duke by 4, Notre Dame by 3, Georgetown by 2 in OT), when Marquette loses, it loses big. It's my guess that Marquette will do anything to keep from being the first team to "lose big" in the tournament (as in did in several regular season games).
Obviously, it must be a little upset about losing its season-ender to Syracuse in a highly-publicized "must-win" for the Orange.
Marquette ended the season with four of its stars averaging more than 10 PPG and it has a solid bench full of energy with relatively even production throughout. This is not a team that will simply "go cold.”
If teams hope to send the Golden Eagles home, they will have to do so with a solid defensive effort in which the entire team communicates effectively and is quick to offer help coverage.
Marquette has a lot to prove and runs very deep. These are absolutely necessary qualities in a Cinderella.
I believe Marquette easily makes it to the Sweet 16 and finally is sent packing by Memphis (the most underrated No. 1) in the Elite 8.
I can't believe it's upon us already!!
Please share your opinions, I'd love to hear from those who agree and disagree.