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Fresh off Sweet 16 win, Blue still not satisifed

Vander Blue still isn't satisfied, just the way he wants it. (USA Today)

Vander Blue still isn’t satisfied, just the way he wants it. (USA Today)

WASHINGTON — During Vander Blue’s first chance to speak with the media at the East Regional at the Verizon Center, the junior guard made it clear that making the Sweet 16 for the third consecutive year wasn’t good enough.

He wanted more.

So after leading the Golden Eagles into their first Elite 8 since 2003 after knocking off Miami on Thursday night, how long would Blue let himself enjoy the win before thinking focusing on that elusive trip to the Final Four?

“A few hours, man,” Blue gave as the appropriate celebration time for him and his teammates. “Check your twitter a little bit, talk to a few family members but we gotta get back to work when we find out who we play. We have to mentally focus tomorrow because Saturday is going to be a grind to go to the Final Four.  I’m expecting a bloody–just a war out there on Saturday.”

Blue finished 7-for-12 with 14 points while playing all 40 minutes as Marquette dispatched the regular season and tournament champions from the Atlantic Coast Conference in a game that was not nearly as close as the the final score ultimately indicated.

And while Blue didn’t have a last second game winner like against Davidson in the second round or an offensive outburst like against Butler in the third round, he still received a bulk of the attention from those following the team during this current run through March.

Blue shot down the notion that he was playing a larger role in Marquette’s success than any of the other players. He wants to win for seniors Trent Lockett and Junior Cadougan, but he also seems intent on proving others wrong.

“If you were to look at our roster, no one would expect us to be a Elite Eight team,” Blue said. “We work harder than, I feel, anybody in the country, and we don’t have the name of North Carolina, Syracuse or Georgetown, but we are still here. We show up every single day. So everybody doubting us is normal to us, and I feel like they should keep [doing that].”

So while North Carolina exited the tournament last weekend, Marquette gets a chance to knock off fellow Big East foe Syracuse on Georgetown’s home court with the Hoyas also out of the tournament.

Blue’s mindset of not settling for anything in this tournament seems to fall right in line with that of the rest of his team, especially Buzz Williams. And even though he’s not one to worry too much about awards and fanfare, Williams was noticeably annoyed at the thought that Blue didn’t garner first team All-Big East honors.

“We were picked preseason 7th,” Williams explained, “and when the year was over and we won a share of the league, prior to arriving in New York, he was a second team All‑Conference player. There are six players that are either First‑Team or Player of the Year.”

Conference awards aside, Blue can forever etch his name in the history books at Marquette by guiding the Golden Eagles into its fourth Final Four in school history and possibly earning MVP honors of the East region in the process.

Follow @BobbyBancroft for live Marquette updates in DC

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