Marquette begins NCAA tournament play todayWisconsin Sports
-- March Madness begins today for the first of two Wisconsin teams in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. Marquette, the Number-three seed in the East Region, will play 14th-seeded Davidson around 2:10 this afternoon. It’ll be shown on TruTV, a Turner-owned channel that many cable systems picked up two years ago when it started televising NCAA games.
LEXINGTON, Ken. - March Madness begins today for the first of two Wisconsin teams in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. Marquette, the Number-three seed in the East Region, will play 14th-seeded Davidson around 2:10 this afternoon. It’ll be shown on TruTV, a Turner-owned channel that many cable systems picked up two years ago when it started televising NCAA games.
TruTV will also show tomorrow’s Wisconsin Badger tournament opener against Mississippi. Marquette enters the Big Dance at 23-8, with a three-way share of the season title in the final year of the original Big East Conference. Davidson is 27-6, after winning the Southern Conference crown. Today’s winner will play either Butler or Bucknell in a third-round matchup on Saturday.
If it’s Marquette and Butler, it will be a preview of what could be a key rivalry in the newly-formed Big East Conference that will start playing this fall. Butler, Xavier, and Creighton officially joined the new basketball-first league yesterday, joining Marquette and six other old Big East schools in the new league of the same name.
Davidson may be a tiny school for Division I. But Marquette players say they have the utmost respect for the Wildcats, as the two teams get ready to face each other this afternoon in their NCAA men’s basketball tournament opener. Davidson has less than two-thousand students on its campus near Charlotte. But they almost made the Final Four in 2008, when they surprised Wisconsin in the Sweet-16 round. Stephen Curry scored 33 points in that game. He has long since moved on to the NBA, but today’s best players for Davidson – forwards Jake Cohen and De’Mon Brooks – said they decided to join the Wildcats after seeing Curry burn the Badgers. The 6-10 Cohen is Davidson’s leading scorer and rebounder. Marquette guard Trent Lockett says the Wildcats are well-rounded and very disciplined – and they’re also a physical team. Today’s winner will play either Butler or Bucknell in the next round on Saturday.
Wisconsin point guard Josh Gasser is making good progress, as he recovers from a banged-up left knee which kept him out for the entire season. He plans to watch from his home-town of Port Washington, when the Badgers open their NCAA Tournament run tomorrow against Ole Miss. Gasser was hoping to get redemption, after missing a desperation shot at the buzzer in last year’s Sweet-16 round in which the Badgers lost by one point to Syracuse. Gasser says he’s replayed the shot over-and-over in his head – and he wondered what would have happened if he got the shot off a second earlier. But after a while, he dropped it. Gasser said quote, “I learned you can’t think like that. It’s just like with the knee. You can’t look back. You have to keep moving forward.” Gasser was hurt during a pre-season practice last fall. He tore the ACL ligament in his left knee, and he damaged the LCL ligament and a meniscus.