I’m looking ahead, past Miami already.
It’s not because the Hurricanes aren’t a good team. They should have been one of the No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament over Gonzaga. They won the ACC in the regular season and the conference tournament.
But I want Marquette to play Indiana in the Elite Eight.
On the court, the match-up definitely favors the Hoosiers, and Marquette fans would probably rather play Syracuse, whom the Golden Eagles have already beaten this season.
But if Tom Crean’s Indiana were to take on Marquette with a trip to Atlanta and the Final Four on the line, fans would see a chance for revenge in a huge way.
Whether to respect Crean is a topic of discussion that could go on for hours. I will be the first to say that it is ridiculous that he gets booed in the opening video before games at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Not only did Crean lead the Golden Eagles to their third Final Four appearance in school history, he made Marquette relevant again on a national level. And he did it during possibly the most important period in the program’s history: Marquette’s transition into the Big East.
I’m not going to deny that Buzz Williams has taken the program to another level. Making three Sweet Sixteens in a row is impressive, and now Marquette is a household name in college basketball.
I have no idea how Crean hired Williams – I’m sure it’s a story everyone would like to hear – but the latter was brought here by the one Marquette fans now refer to as “the tan man.”
To make fun of Crean now is all fine and dandy. By all accounts he isn’t necessarily the friendliest guy, and Michigan Assistant Coach Jeff Meyer learned that’s the case on the court sometimes, too. His charting of deflections and his drinking of Diet Pepsi during games annoyed the hell out of people.
But if you’re mad at how he left, you’re ignoring a lot of success on the basketball court – which is how we measure people nowadays, so it shouldn’t even matter if he’s a jerk. So what he didn’t tell his players before ESPN reported his departure? That happens, so get over it.
I just don’t know how you can’t acknowledge what he did for the men’s basketball program and speak of him with disrespect.
People shouldn’t compare him to Williams. They’re polar opposites. People will always point out negative things about Crean before the positives, and it annoys me.
A match-up between Crean and Marquette in the Elite Eight would be salivating. It’s a storyline that writes itself. I’ll be rooting for both schools on Thursday so that can be made a reality.