This is the first match-up of a 16-game bracket looking at the best Marquette game of the last decade. The complete bracket is at the bottom of each match-up. Vote early and share it. The more votes, the better.
2. 1/3/06 UConn (Big East Opener) vs. 15. 1/6/10 Georgetown (Cubillan 6-6)
The Case for UConn game: Heading into the opening game of the big bad Big East was cause enough to raise the stakes for this tilt. Having the incoming Huskies be ranked No. 2 in the country made it the most important game in the post-Wade era. Marquette needed to show it wasn’t joining the Big East to be a punching bag. It needed a statement game to burst through the front door and claim its place at the head of the table. Enter Novak. The senior put on a show, breaking the record for most points scored in a Big East debut held by Allen Iverson and Troy Murphy with 30 each. Novak smashed it, putting down 41 points and grabbing 16 rebounds for good measure as Marquette gave UConn its first loss of the season 94-79 rout. Hello Big East indeed.
The Case for Georgetown game: After two tough losses to No. 6 West Virginia and No. 8 Villanova by a total of three points so start the Big East season, Marquette faced an equally tough task in hosting No. 12 Georgetown. Luckily, David Cubillan brought his “A” game from outside, hitting all six of his 3-pointers to help Marquette to a 62-59 victory. Lazar Hayward double-doubled with 12 points and 11 rebounds, holding Greg Monroe to just nine points, his season-low to date. Jimmy Butler iced the game with free throws, finishing an impressive performance in a slow, grind-it-out game that favored the Hoyas.
7. 3/27/03 PITT (ELITE 8 BERTH) VS. 10. 3/2/10 LOUISVILLE (WALK IT OUT)
The Case for Pitt game: Thanks to Dwyane Wade’s 22 points and Travis Diener’s eight assists and zero turnovers, Marquette won a battle of the back courts on its way to an Elite Eight appearance vs. No. 1 Kentucky. Robert Jackson was his usual efficient self with 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting, and Steve Novak came off the bench to hit 3-of-5 3-pointers in the win. And nothing put the finishing touches on Marquette’s win better than Wade’s trick shot midway through the second half.
The Case for Louisville game: Marquette realistically needed one more win to take them off the bubble, and a trashing of Louisville at home was topped off by one of the more memorable plays in the last decade. With the game far out of reach in the closing minutes, Lazar Hayward missed a 3-pointer from the left wing, but Darius Johnson-Odom was in perfect position for a one-handed, put-back dunk. Buzz’s famous Walk It Out dance ensued, and the rest is history on that. Johnson-Odom finished with 22 points and seven rebounds, and Maurice Acker finished off an impressive Big East season with 15 points.