When second leading rebounder Davante Gardner went down with a knee injury, Marquette was challenged to rise to the occasion. But over the past two weeks, Marquette has won 4 straight games, all by 13 points or more. Jae Crowder has stepped up big time and has become much more noticed at a national level. I read an interesting article about Crowder just a short time ago. The man who was featured in the news recently for predicting the rise of Jeremy Lin also identified Crowder as a potential future superstar.
While the NBA surely awaits next season, there is still work to be done. How much noise can Marquette make in March? I think we are going to learn a lot about this team over the next 10 days. 3 significant challenges, road games at West Virginia and Cincinnati, followed by a home game against Georgetown will certainly tell us if this is a legit Final Four contender. Marquette has already won 9 games away from home, which is impressive alone.
I think it would be great to see Marquette against Syracuse again in the Big Apple. A win in 2 of their final 3, plus a deep Big East tournament run could propel Marquette to a #2 seed. Currently winners of 11 of 12, keeping momentum is extremely important and essential to a strong March. With continued success and the right draw, the Golden Eagles could be in New Orleans in April. Senior leadership and strong guard play always seem to go a long way in March. This could be the year Marquette gets back to the Final Four for the first time since the Dwyane Wade era.