The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

PREVIEW: Marquette plays final meaningful game at the Bradley Center against Creighton

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg
Guard Andrew Rowsey will be honored in a pregame ceremony as the team’s lone senior.

The BMO Harris Bradley Center’s last regular season game, senior day for the team’s leading scorer and a do-or-die game with massive tournament implications all would’ve been big enough stories on their own.

Marquette’s matchup with the Creighton Bluejays has all three storylines.

It doesn’t get much more important than this for the Golden Eagles (17-12, 8-9 BIG EAST). A win over Creighton (21-9, 10-7 BIG EAST) would mean Marquette would most likely have to win only one game in the conference tournament to secure an NCAA spot. Marquette is among the first four teams out of March Madness on BracketMatrix and the seventh team out of the field in ESPN’s Bracketology.

This game also has BIG EAST Tournament seeding implications. If Marquette loses to Creighton or Seton Hall beats Butler, the Golden Eagles will have to play on the tournament’s first day against either St. John’s or DePaul, then play Villanova the next day. A Marquette win and a Seton Hall loss would give the Golden Eagles a first-round bye.



When Andrew Rowsey decided to transfer from UNC-Asheville at the end of 2015, he wanted to play against the best players in the country. Marquette offered not only the chance to do that, but also the chance to be mentored by a coaching staff that had done it too.

“Every single one of the assistant coaches had played at a high D-I level,” Rowsey said. “It’s Marquette. It’s one of the best programs to exist in college basketball.”

Now the redshirt senior is preparing to play in the final game of his five-year collegiate career. The gifted jump shooter has scored 2,185 points during his time at UNC-Asheville and Marquette. He has scored double digits in 14 of 29 games this season.

However, Rowsey’s accomplishments have not been without fault. His propensity for rushing shots and committing needless fouls have occasionally irked Wojo, who has tried to mold Rowsey into a pass-first point guard. Marquette is 9-4 in games where Rowsey logs five or more assists, as opposed to 5-8 when he notches less than five.




Two weeks ago, Marquette visited Omaha, Nebraska, with its NCAA Tournament hopes in desperate need of resuscitation. The Golden Eagles had lost five of the previous six games. Despite a hip injury to star sophomore Markus Howard and a 16-point deficit, Marquette left the CenturyLink Center with a 90-86 victory.

While the Golden Eagles still have plenty of work left to do for an NCAA Tournament bid, the team is trying to ignore the postseason implications for the time being.

“We can’t control what happens to the other teams,” Wojo said. “We can control our preparation and our execution. That’s got to be our focus.”

A well-timed switch to zone defense was the key to reining in Creighton’s offense last time around; the Bluejays’ effective field goal percentage dropped from 81.5 percent in the first half to 51.7 percent in the second half. The zone mitigated the impact of Creighton’s physical guards and pick-and-roll savvy bigs.

“Creighton’s one of the best offensive teams in the United States,” Wojo said. “They don’t play games that you win in the 50s and 60s.”

According to, a popular college basketball analytics website, Marquette’s chances of making the NCAA Tournament would drop from 41.8 percent to just 20.8 percent with a loss.



Today’s matchup will be the 502nd Marquette game played in the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Unless Marquette makes the National Invitation Tournament, it will also be the last.

“The Bradley Center has been a great home for Marquette basketball for so long,” Wojo said.

The 20,000-seat venue, built to lure a professional ice hockey expansion team that never came, instead served as Marquette basketball’s home since the 1988-’89 season.  In just four years at Marquette, Wojo has already experienced many golden moments in the BMOHBC.

“It’s the first time I walked on the court as a head coach, and I think if you ask any coach that, that’s a signature moment,” Wojo said. “And then obviously the win against Villanova was a tremendous moment for our program and our fan base.”

After this season, Marquette will move into the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center, a new 17,500-seat arena. The Milwaukee Bucks will also play in the new arena. The Bradley Center’s demolition is expected to take roughly a year.

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Marquette Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *