Men’s basketball leads Marquette into new conference with success

Matthew Trebby
Matthew Trebby

We’re entering a special time in Marquette athletics.

As the “Catholic 7” break away from the “America 12” the Golden Eagles take two Big East championships with them, and will be poised for more in the near future.

With the victory of Buzz Williams’ team this past Saturday against St. John’s, Marquette claimed its first men’s basketball regular season championship since 2003. With that accomplishment, there have been three Golden Eagle teams to win Big East championships in since August of 2012.

Apparently, the new Big East is going to leave Marquette fairly well off financially. That has become the main concern in college athletics nowadays, unfortunately. With the Golden Eagles’ triumph on Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden, the competitive side of Marquette’s athletic program will now be the driving force of the new Big East.

In case you missed any of Ben Greene’s previews of the new conference this past spring, the Golden Eagles should be among the best of the new Big East in most sports.

On the pitch down at Valley Fields, there are two soccer programs that have been on a consistent ascent for a few years toward becoming one of the nation’s best.

Louis Bennett’s team is coming off a 16-win season, which was preceded by a Big East championship. With their returning talent and incoming recruiting class, they’re likely going to be even better than the past two years this fall. Markus Roeders’ team continues to win conference title after conference title, and in the new Big East that is probably going to continue. There are no signs of slowing down for the women’s soccer team.

At the Al McGuire Center, Bond Shymansky’s squad became more and more competitive the past two seasons, reaching the NCAA Tournament each of those years. The best is yet to come from the women’s volleyball program, though, and a switch in conference might just speed up its improvement. Also at the Al, Terri Mitchell’s team continues to rebuild, a change of conference might be best. No more Connecticut and Notre Dame to beat up on the rest of the Big East. Maybe the Golden Eagles just have to be one of the best and raise their confidence.

The key piece of the new conference, obviously, is the men’s basketball program. Williams’ program looks like it will be the class of the new Big East, along with Georgetown and possibly Butler and Creighton.

With the success of the other programs at Marquette, it is very important for the big money maker and the most popular team is delivering on the court. Now, all of the Golden Eagles head into the new Big East with a lot of momentum as one of the most complete athletic programs in the conference.