I'm going to be covering the DePaul vs. Marquette game tonight live here on the blog. If you've got comments, frustrations, etc. feel free to voice them in the blog. Just keep it civil. All the fun starts after the jump.
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10:08 p.m.: That's it. Goodnight Chicago. Full recap coming up on Chicago College Basketball.
10:06 p.m.: The strangest thing just happened. The DePaul students attempted to rush the court after DePaul's victory and they were rejected by security. It helps that unlike most seating sections there is only one entrance and exit. Will Walker, Krys Faber and another of other players came over to the section to congratulate the fans for their support. It is a surreal scene.
10:05 p.m.: I am honestly terrified that I am going to get run over by the student section that is behind me if DePaul wins this game. They are beginning to creep up. Security is out in force.
10:03 p.m.: Buzz Williams is emphatically diagramming whatever is going to happen here for Marquette in the final .7 seconds. He knows that his team's season rides on the result of this game. It might be too late.
9:59 p.m.: David Cubillan will take the free throws for Marquette. DePaul doesn't have a timeout. OH MY GOODNESS!! I cannot believe what I just saw. After Cubillan misses the front-end of the 1-and-1 Mike Stovall comes down and hits another one of the biggest shots I have ever seen in my life. The DePaul students are freaking out. The Marquette fans are stunned. .7 seconds remain. It's 52-50 DePaul. (Pending a review of the shot.)
9:57 p.m.: It should be noted that Marquette has a history of blowing close games this season. After Lazar Hayward misses the front end of a 1-and-1 Mike Stovall came down and knocked down a cold-blooded three. This game isn't over yet! DePaul can say they fought for 40 minutes tonight. A great effort.
9:54 p.m.: This is the first time in the game (with 23 seconds remaining in the game) that I've heard "We Are Marquette" from the very large contingent of Marquette fans in the crowd. The DePaul students answered back with the "We Are DePaul" chant. Still, it's obvious that a fan base was very worried throughout this game.
9:53 p.m.: Will Walker just came off of about 3 screens, each time a Marquette defender found him. Eventually Tracy Webster had to call timeout with Devin Hill stuck far away from the basket. 37.9 seconds remain, DePaul is still down 4.
9:50 p.m.: Jeremiah Kelly got a very good look at 3. It just didn't go down. Those are the breaks that lead to 20+ game losing streaks. The loudspeakers played "We're not going to take it." I thought it was very appropriate considering the circumstances.
9:46 p.m.: It comes down to this - DePaul's ball, 1:46 remaining down 4. Is this where the streak finally ends? It's certainly possible. The students behind me seem to think it is. A shout out to them. They've been very active during both of Tracy Webster's games on the bench.
9:43 p.m.: Both teams are going to make their free throws down the stretch. Both teams are in the bonus. It has been a problem for DePaul this season. Jimmy Butler just made two to push Marquette's lead to 4. But Jeremiah Kelly answered back quickly.
9:40 p.m.: This is DePaul's best chance to win this season by far. The Blue Demons trail by 2 points, 46-44 at the under 4 timeout in the second half. They've played some great defense. The offense on the other hand has been quite sporadic. What a game though. It hasn't been pretty, but it has been very exciting.
9:37 p.m.: Will Walker looks tired. And there is still 5 minutes to play. Maurice Acker just toasted him along the baseline. Walker has given everything he can to the Blue Demons tonight. He needs someone to help him finish the race.
9:34 p.m.: I've said this before, I'll say it again, man do I wish Devin Hill would take some lessons from Will Walker and go to the hoop hard instead of shooting fadeaway jump shots over smaller defenders. Ugh.
9:29 p.m.: The big man tandem of Eric Wallace and Devin Hill have done some good things after they were freed up to play the forward positions with Krys Faber in the middle. The other thing I like? Mike Stovall is getting some time at shooting guard, a position he's a much more natural fit for.
9:26 p.m.: Jeremiah Kelly just made a very heads up defensive play. He has played good defense against the perimeter oriented Golden Eagles. It is obvious that Tracy Webster wanted to take away the three. Eric Wallace just committed his 4th foul with 9:08 remaining in the game. Webster is leaving Wallace in the game. Bold decision.
9:19 p.m.: Will Walker's last two offensive possessions were the definition of trying to do too much. He had two costly turnovers as the Blue Demons had a chance to tie or close the game to one. Jeremiah Kelly picked him up with a crowd invigorating three on the next trip down.
9:15 p.m.: Eric Wallace's athleticism is serving him well in this game. He's able to play taller than almost anyone on the court. It's showing as he's more assertive offensively and grabbed 4 boards in the first half.
9:12 p.m.: The bounces that didn't go DePaul's way in the first half are thus far in the second. Darius Johnson-Odom just had a wide open shot that bounced off the rim about 8 times before coming out. DePaul is down just 5 points with 15:28 remaining.
9:10 p.m.: I've said this before, but the results out of Southern Illinois are making me very wary of hiring Chris Lowery. He seems to be struggling with a team of players he recruited in the Missouri Valley Conference. Tonight the Salukis lost to Bradley, 57-55.
9:07 p.m.: And it's time for the second half. More of the same as Will Walker gets the first basket for DePaul. Some good defense thus far from the Blue Demons as well.
8:48 p.m.: It is the end of the first half and for once DePaul didn't let a close game get out of hand in the final few minutes of a half. This is a good sign for the Blue Demons. Now they'll have a chance to pull off a big upset in the second half. Halftime score: Marquette 32, DePaul 26.
8:45 p.m.: Lazar Hayward and Will Walker are trading punches in this game like prize fighters. It has been like a playground game of "Can You Top This?" The thing is Walker only trails by 2, but DePaul trails by 6 overall.
8:43 p.m.: For a team composed of guards Marquette is very careless with the basketball. Their turnovers are what are keeping a poor-shooting DePaul team in the game during the first half.
8:41 p.m.: Have to play defense. DePaul always seems to get a big basket and give up a big basket. That's not a good way to win basketball games.
8:37 p.m.: Good news for DePaul. The Blue Demons appear to have discovered that they're able to drive to the basket. Will Walker has had a couple of nice drives and Jeremiah Kelly was able to make a shot in the lane. Unlike many of the teams in the Big East, Marquette doesn't have the size to stop drives to the basket once you get past the initial defender. Walker has 6 points. Lazar Hayward has 9 to lead Marquette and the Golden Eagles lead 24-16 at the under 4 timeout in the first half.
8:31 p.m.: DePaul is going through one of its patented offensive droughts. The Blue Demons have scored 2 points in the past 3:30 and now trail by 10. DePaul is crashing the offensive glass hard. They have to though, because there are a lot of missed shots. Buzz Williams put Joe Fulce back in the game to try and help on the boards for Marquette.
8:29 p.m.: Krys Faber, after playing well early in the game, has struggled on the past few possessions. His missed shot led to a secondary break and then he turned it over the next time down. He is also having a lot of problems containing Jimmy Butler.
8:26 p.m.: The offenses have been ugly tonight. DePaul is 4-15, Marquette isn't much better at 4-14. Marquette also has 5 turnovers.
8:24 p.m.: On a side note for Marquette - Joe Fulce seems to be shooting a ton. I'm not sure that's part of Buzz Williams' game plan. Mike Stovall just got called for an offensive foul on a 50-50 call. The Blue Demons aren't getting any breaks tonight. Second media timeout comes with 9:37 remaining, 13-8 Marquette.
8:18 p.m.: Eric Wallace just showed of his incredible athleticism with a huge block. If he can harness that he's going to be a good player. A disturbing trend is that Marquette has already drawn 4 fouls on DePaul with 12:28 to play.
8:14 p.m. CT: There is a lonely DePaul fan on the visitor fans side of Allstate Arena. He's encased in a sea of gold. I wonder how he got a seat there.
8:12 p.m. CT: We're at the under 16 timeout in the first half. DePaul already has two dunks. Eric Wallace threw one down after beating his man baseline. Marquette is up 7-4 on a Lazar Hayward 3.
8:10 p.m. CT: Krys Faber got the DePaul offense going with a dunk. This is a great opportunity for Faber and Devin Hill to work on their post-up games. The Golden Eagles are noticeably shorter than DePaul in the front court.
8:03 p.m. CT: Some news from around the Big East. Georgetown defeated Pittsburgh at the Petersen Events Center 74-66. Connecticut is putting the finishing touches on a victory over St. John's and Villanova is up big at Rutgers. Cincinnati squeaked by South Florida, but the Bearcats didn't have their best player in freshman Lance Stephenson.
8:00 p.m. CT: I tweeted both of these predictions earlier today, but for the record: Pomeroy has Marquette as a 69-55 favorite with 93% confidence in a MU victory. Accuscore has the Golden Eagles as 75.2-59.3 favorites with Marquette winning 87.6% of 10,000+ sims.
7:55 p.m. CT: We've got the starters for tonight's game. For Marquette: Johnson-Odom, Acker, Cubillan, Hayward, Butler. For DePaul: Hill, Kelly, Wallace, Walker, Faber. No surprises there.
7:50 p.m. CT: Ed Hightower is going to be calling tonight's game. You've probably already seen him this season if you follow an area team. He called Northwestern's game against Ohio State last night in Columbus, OH. He ranks right in the middle of the pack in terms of the average number of fouls called per game. He doesn't give the home team anything extra, in fact he's called fewer fouls for the home team than the roadies.
7:45 p.m. CT: Some fun statistical things about Marquette coming into tonight's game:
- The Golden Eagles are the best 3-point shooting team in the country. Marquette hits 43.4% of it's shots from beyond the arc. Sophomore Darius Johnson-Odom is the leader with 39 threes, but a lot of guys can shoot from deep.
- Nobody currently on the Marquette roster has an offensive efficiency below 100 according to Ken Pomeroy. This team is deadly on offense. Junior forward Jimmy Butler leads the way at 138.5, 3rd in the country.
- Marquette also passes the ball well. The Golden Eagles rank second in the Big East and sixth in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio.
7:37 p.m. CT: Some relevant links before the game starts tonight:
- The Daily Egyptian picks up on the Chicago Tribune and FoxSports.com's reports that Southern Illinois head coach Chris Lowery is the lead candidate to be the next head coach of DePaul. Good quotes from Lowery.
- Game preview from WeAreDePaul.com and DePaul Athletics.
- Some good stuff from the Marquette blog Cracked Sidewalks: on the history of this game and a Q&A with me. This is the Q&A Cracked Sidewalks did for me.
7:30 p.m. CT: Welcome to the DePaul vs. Marquette live blog here at Chicago College Basketball. Fans are beginning to file into Allstate Arena here. There's a big section of Marquette blue and gold to my right. They are sitting right next to the DePaul students, so maybe the effects will cancel out? I'll be posting my thoughts here throughout the night in the main section, but feel free to comment and I'll respond to those as well tonight.
The news has already gotten better for Marquette as star recruit, freshman Junior Cadougan has been cleared to play tonight for the Golden Eagles. Cadougan is returning early than expected from a ruptured right Achilles tendon. It was supposed to sideline him for the season.
On the DePaul front Mario Stula isn't dressed for tonight's game. Neither is Mac Koshwal, but you already knew that.
We're a little more than 30 minutes to tip.