This is the third set of match-ups 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.
3. 3/20/11 Syracuse (Sweet 16 Berth) VS. 14. 12/22/08 NC STATE (JAMES 3-POINTER)
The Case for Syracuse game: It helped that Buzz Williams and co. were playing a familiar Big East foe in the NCAA’s third round, but Darius Johnson-Odom still had to make the shot. And that he did. With 27 seconds left, DJO drained a 3-pointer to give Marquette a 62-59 lead. Jimmy Butler’s superb defense in the tournament continued, limiting Scoop Jardine to just six points, and Jae Crowder had 16 points and seven rebounds off the “bench.” It was Marquette’s first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2003, and it truly began the Buzz Williams era in Milwaukee.
The Case for NC State game: Dominic James may have put together the finest game of his senior season on this day, scoring 18 points, grabbing four rebounds and handing out six assists; not to mention, he also hit a 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds left on the clock to break a 65-all tie, sending Marquette to their 10th win in a tough road environment. Jerel McNeal lit up the box score as well, scoring 20 points, grabbing four steals and blocking two shots. The Golden Eagles forced 18 Wolfpack turnovers in the nail-biter.
6. 11/21/06 DUKE (CBE CLASSIC) VS. 11. 2/24/12 WEST VIRGINIA (COUNTRY ROADS)
The Case for Duke game: In the span of two games, Tom Crean and Marquette took down Bobby Knight (Texas Tech) and his pupil Mike Krzyzewski during the CBE Classic in Kansas City. Dominic James was near unstoppable, going for 25 points and 7 assists while holding Greg Paulus to seven points and two assists. Jerel McNeal added 17 and grabbed six rebounds, while Dan Fitzgerald scored eight off the bench. With Marquette up three, 61-58, with five minutes to go, James reeled off a 6-0 run by himself to put the lead out of reach for the Blue Devils.
The Case for West Virginia game: Perhaps the most unforgettable game over the last decade, Buzz Williams entered Morgantown without three starters for the first half and Todd Mayo for the second half against a Mountaineer team desperate for a victory. Led by Jae Crowder’s 26 points, Marquette came back from an 11-point first half deficit and won 61-60, prompting a Buzz Two Step dance across West Virginia’s court that drew plenty of scrutiny. Still, it was a magnificent coaching performance by Williams, and cemented Crowder’s spot as the Big East Player of the Year (Kevin Jones had 12 points and six rebounds).