This question was first posed to Cracked Sidewalks during our Q&A session before DePaul's upset of the Golden Eagles. And please note that I don't know if the opinions have changed since that shocking 51-50 upset at Allstate Arena.
But, if you don't remember, here was the official answer:
5. CCB: This is the first game of two between DePaul and Marquette.
Do you think that this "rivalry" actually feels like one? Or is it
CS: No, this isn't really a
rivalry except for one aspect -- Marquette fans come out in large
numbers to the Allstate Arena. That will create some level of rivalry,
but Marquette fans care a lot more about beating any number of teams
more than DPU. This thread summarizes it a lot better than we could.
Now the interesting thing is, soon after that Q&A was published, interim head coach Tracy Webster had a much different take on things. This is from the DePaul athletics preview:
"When I played at Wisconsin, we played Marquette every year,"
Webster said. "They bring a big crowd, and I know how intense their
crowd is. This is going to bring more excitement for our guys.
"People can talk all they want about this being just another
game---no way. This is a rivalry game, for sure, and our guys will be
ready for it."
Maybe that motivation was why DePaul hung with a team that is currently ranked 17th in the Pomeroy rankings and has beaten Xavier, Michigan, Georgetown and Connecticut. Maybe the Blue Demons just wanted it a little bit more.
Tonight we'll find out if that's the case once again as DePaul takes on Marquette on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. CT. The Bradley Center should be packed - I mean this obviously isn't a certain win for the Golden Eagles. Now that Mac Koshwal has been back a week Marquette will face a whole new set of challenges.
A sweep of the Golden Eagles would really anger the fans in Milwaukee. You want to know the best way to heat up a rivalry? Even it out. That's exactly what two wins for DePaul would do. Expect the Blue Demons to do everything they can.
Predictions - Pomeroy: 70-52 Marquette (97% confidence); Accuscore: 72.5-57.5 (88.2%)
Random Horizon League Links: Loyola has stepped up the creative recruiting efforts this season to get students to game, this time it's Jesuit Jam night; the Gentile Center got a favorable review from Stadium Journey; Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette writes a great column about Butler, the Horizon League and financial resources (the 40 comments seem to suggest he's onto something); the Horizon League and ESPN are going to keep things going at least through 2013; UIC will play Evansville and Loyola will play Creighton in the BracketBusters - two pretty even match-ups at first glance, but much more about both later.