UofL and Marquette square off tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. It’s the rekindling of a storied rivalry that dates back to the 90s.
Some of the names involved for Marquette included Mike Deane, Brian Wardle, Tom Crean, Dwayne Wade, Steve Novak, Dominic James, Jae Crowder, Travis Diener, Jimmy Butler, Junior Cadougan, Darius Johnson-Odom, Vander Blue, and Wesley Matthews, to name a few.
For UofL, it was legends such as Denny Crum, Dejuan Wheat, Samaki Walker, Alvin Sims, Nate Johnson, Rick Pitino, Marques Maybin, Reece Gaines, Francisco Garcia, Ellis Myles, Taquan Dean, Jerry Smith, Edgar Sosa, Terrence Williams, Preston Knowles, Peyton Siva, Russ Smith, Kyle Kuric, Gorgui Dieng, and Luke Hancock, among others.
It was a heated rivalry full of close games, controversies, and buzzer beaters. Unfortunately, once UofL joined the ACC, the rivalry has simmered. However, old rivalries die-hard and tonight I’m sure that, despite all the players and coaches having changed, it will once again be a tight game full of tough-nosed play.
In honor of this rivalry renewed, here are a few of the highlights and full games from throughout the years between UofL and Marquette.
Miracle On Main – January 15, 2011
UofL fans remember this game vividly. Marquette was up 63-45 with a little over 6 minutes left; an 18 point lead that seemed insurmountable.
However, UofL started rocking and rolling. Preston Knowles, Chris Smith, Kyle Kuric, Terrence Jennings, and even Steven Van Treese got in the act. Eventually, led by Preston Knowles’ 17 points UofL eventually won 71-70 on Kyle Kuric layup with 4 seconds left.
It was an incredible comeback considering Marquette had two NBA players on their roster in Jimmy Butler and Jae Crowder.
Reece Gaines Buzzer Beater – February 15, 2003
Reece Gaines vs Dwayne Wade in the first of two regular season matchups between arguably the two best players in C-USA that season. These were also two of the best teams in the country at the time as UofL was ranked second and Marquette eleventh. Wade would go on to win the conference player of the year that year over Gaines.
However, this game belonged to Gaines. After Travis Diener hit a game-tying three with 11 seconds left, Gaines calmly dribbled the ball up and hit the game-winning three with just under 6 seconds left over Wade to beat him and his Marquette team on the road 73-70.
Gaines scored 20 points and freshman Taquan Dean added 18 points in the Cards victory.
Jerry Smith Buzzer Beater – February 18, 2007
UofL and Marquette were fighting for BIg East and NCAA Tournament seeding. The Cards headed up to Marquette looking to improve both, but, as always it seems, it was going to be tough.
Marquette, led by Jerel McNeal’s 18 points, was up by one point with 5.5 seconds left. Edgar Sosa, who led UofL with 15 points, dribbled up the floor quickly and passed to Jerry Smith. Smith, who was originally from Wisconsin, then drilled a three-pointer at the buzzer to help UofL beat their arch-nemesis Marquette. Smith finished with 9 points.
Francisco Garcia Game Winning Three – February 17, 2005
UofL was ranked 12th and on the road facing Travis Diener, Steve Novak, and the pesky Golden Eagles. As always, it was a tough game for UofL despite Marquette being 17-7.
Led by Novak’s 14 points, Marquette and UofL were tied at 61. Marquette G takes a three-pointer and misses. Ellis Myles, who had 12 rebounds that game, grabs the board with around 9 seconds left. Garcia gets the ball, dribbles up court, and drains the game winning three with 2.6 seconds left and gives UofL the 64-61 victory.
Garcia had a game-high 18 points. Larry O’Bannon contributed 15 points as well for the Cards.
Taquan Dean Senior Day -March 1, 2006
UofL was having a down year coming off a Final Four run the year before. The successful duo of Francisco Garcia and Taquan Dean had been halved when Garcia entered the NBA Draft.
It was Dean’s senior day and the Cards looked to send him out a winner against their rival. UofL did just that with a 67-60 win, but it wasn’t as comfortable a victory as the margin may make it seem.
UofL was up 58-55 with 3.9 seconds left. Chad Millard missed two free throws that would’ve sealed the victory. Brandon Jenkins has the rebound go off his hands and out-of-bounds. He was yanked to the ground by Steve Novak which caused this, but no foul was called. Dominic James then received the inbounds pass, dribbled quickly through UofL’s defense, and threw up an off-balance three at the buzzer that went in and sent the game to overtime.
In overtime, UofL only allowed Marquette to score one basket. Taquan Dean scored 7 of UofL’s 9 overtime points and Terrence Williams provided the exclamation point on the victory with a thunderous windmill jam.
2012 Big East Tournament Quarterfinal – March 8, 2012
UofL was unranked heading into this game. They finished the regular season 24-9 with a horrible loss to a bad South Florida team at home on Senior Day. They entered the Big East Tournament as the 7th seed and weren’t expected to beat the 9th ranked and 2nd seeded Marquette Golden Eagles.
However, UofL had their brand new infrared unis and ended up whipping Marquette 84-71. They eventually went on to win the Big East Tournament title and make it all the way to the NCAA Final Four before losing to eventual champion UK.
UofL was never in danger during the improbable victory. Kyle Kuric led UofL with 20 points while Peyton Siva added 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists.
This game, while lacking the drama of past years, was improbable as Marquette was considered one of the best teams in college basketball while UofL was struggling and unsure of a tournament bid.
These are just a few of the many UofL vs Marquette battles. Tonight, the storied rivalry is renewed and a new chapter added. Hopefully, it involves a Cards victory.
*all stats from espn.com