Marquette managed to survive yet another close game, this time against Butler and advanced to the 2013 NCAA Tournament‘s Sweet Sixteen.
The Golden Eagles have had two incredibly close games against lower seeds but have managed to hang in both games. In the team’s first game of the tournament, the Golden Eagles had to rally in order to beat 14th seeded Davidson, 59-58.
This time the school had to come back from an eight-point deficit at the half by outscoring the Bulldogs by 10 points after the break. Vander Blue was the leading scorer for the team, who scored 19 of his 29 points in the second half.
Marquette and Butler have taken each other on before. The two teams matched up against each other in the early season Maui Invitational. In that game, Marquettte had gotten out to a lead and Butler was the team that had to rally.
This time, Vander Blue and his mates were able to give Butler the taste of revenge. For its part, Butler had to rally in order to advance to the round of 32 as they fought off stiff competition from Bucknell. The team held just a 21-14 lead before they were able to open the game and hold the Bison off.
For the Bulldogs, Rodney Clarke managed to find a way to break out despite being the team’s leading scorer and someone who usually takes about half the team’s shots. On Saturday night, Clarke scored 24 points and hit 5 of 12 three-point attempts.
As a general rule, when Butler makes the NCAA Tournament they tend to get much farther than the round of 32. Butler made the championship game in 2010 and 2011. Last season, the Bulldogs missed the tournament in a rebuilding year.
This year the team was back but fell short of their goals.
Marquette will next take on the winner of the game between Miami and Illinois on Thursday night.