by Ray Floriani
LYNDHURST, NJ - A team that had to explain and justify their very presence is suddenly Newark-bound. The last time Marquette played at the Prudential Center, ‘the Rock’, they walked off the floor 13 point losers to Seton Hall just over two weeks ago. Coach Buzz Williams though, is elated to be back as Marquette earned a Sweet 16 appearance with a 66-62 thriller over Syracuse. The numbers:
* Through the tournament a number of games have seen teams take meticulous care of the ball. Not here. Marquette had a 22% TO rate while Syracuse was even worse at 28%. The last of the Orange turnovers was most detrimental. Dion Waiter, a freshman guard was in the midst of an 18 point (in 23 minutes) evening, when his misguided pass with 51 seconds resulted in a turnover. About half a minute later Darius Johnson-Odom hit the biggest three of his 17 points to send Marquette to New Jersey. Syracuse wasted a 61% eFG effort and 66% mark from two point range. Chalk it up to those 18 turnovers.