March 29, 2003
Marquette in the Final Four
YES! YES! YES! "Holy Mackerel!" to use the late Al McGuire's words. Marquette beat Kentucky in Minneapolis and are going to New Orleans with a shot at winning a national title. Early on, the Warriors (TAM refuses to call them by the politically correct "Golden Eagles") had problems stopping the Wildcats on the offensive boards. As the game progressed, the rebounding evened out, in part because of Marquette center Robert Jackson.
This game may have been the moment when Warrior guard Dwayne Wade gave a big shout out to the sports world. He dunked the ball, passed the ball, shot the ball, blocked shots, grabbed rebounds and ran up and down the court. When the buzzer sounded, Wade ended up with a triple-double (29 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists). Kentucky coach Tubby Smith put it bluntly, "We had no answer for Wade."
To let you know how amazing Wade played, he became only the third player in NCAA tournament history to have a triple-double. Over the years and years the tournament has been played with countless basketball legends only Magic Johnson, Andre Miller, and Dwayne Wade have gotten a triple-double.
Next Saturday, Marquette will take on Kansas, and there will be two storylines following these teams. Marquette will be living with the ghost of Al McGuire, who took the Warriors to a national title in 1977. Reporters will be digging out all their favorite McGuire quotes and memories. For Kansas, Coach Roy Williams will be a sentimental favorite to finally win his first national title.
Marquette University, Milwaukee, and Wisconsin will be cheering on the Warriors, and I have a feeling Coach Al is grinning from ear to ear.
"(3) Marquette 83, (1) Kentucky 69"
"Eagles [Warriors ed.] Have Landed"