Can Marquette basketball make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament?

The Marquette Golden Eagles went from being projected to finish ninth in the Big East to making program history.

The Golden Eagles hope to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, as they won their first-ever outright Big East regular season championship and then captured the Big East Tournament title.

That was good enough to earn a two-seed and a Friday afternoon matchup with the 15-seed Vermont Catamounts.

The Golden Eagles have to go all the way to the 2013 NCAA Tournament to find their last tournament victory. That is when they knocked off Miami in the Sweet 16.

Since then, They have not only lost four games in the NCAA Tournament, but they have been blown out.

They lost to Syracuse by 16 in the 2013 Elite Eight. South Carolina crushed the Golden Eagles by 20 on its way to the Final Four in the 2017 first round. Ja Morant and Murray State blew out Marquette in the 2019 first round. North Carolina started its march to the NCAA Championship game by blowing out Marquette by 32.

The hope is to get out of the first round and make a postseason run.

The Marquette Golden Eagles feature Big East Player of the Year and consensus All-American, Tyler Kolek. He runs the show.

They also have a deep roster around him. Oso Ighodaro gives them an interesting offensive dimension with his ability to handle the ball for his size. Kam Jones is an outstanding scorer. Olivier-Maxence Prosper is a versatile scorer and defender. Stevie Mitchell is a defensive pest. David Joplin is a microwave scorer off the bench. Add in three freshmen who play their supporting roles well and the Golden Eagles have the talent to make a deep run.

Big East Coach of the Year, Shaka Smart, is arguably doing his best coaching job. He has guided this team to a Big East regular season and conference tournament championship.

Now, he aims to break Marquette’s NCAA Tournament losing streak and his seven-game tournament losing streak as head coach.

Marquette has the offense to make a deep run. They have the sixth-best adjusted offensive rating according to

The Golden Eagles also play disruptive defense. They try to get 32 or more deflections to generate turnovers. They need to do that, as Marquette is not very big down low.

Rebounding has been an issue for the Golden Eagles all season. Prolonged scoring droughts can also sink their dreams of making a deep March run.

March is all about surviving and advancing. The Marquette Golden Eagles have shown they can do that. They won two games in the Big East Tournament by a bucket. They went 7-5 in games decided by six points or less.

Although, in a few of those games, Marquette let teams get back into the game to make it stressful. All that matters in the big dance is winning and Marquette hopes to do a lot of that in the NCAA Tournament.