The Basketball Tournament comes to an end on Tuesday night. Carmen’s Crew takes on Golden Eagles in the Final at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, with the winner bringing home a take worth $2 million. The loser in the Final takes home nothing.
We know that Carmen’s Crew has the star power to win the whole enchilada. As members of the Ohio State Buckeyes, the likes of Aaron Craft, LaQuinton Ross, William Buford and Jon Diebler had success donning the Scarlet and Gray. Final Four trips, Big Ten crowns, and everything in between have been added to the trophy case. And now, a Zelle money deposit could be next—all they have to do is win one more game.
With Overseas Elite’s reign of terror now over, the Final shouldn’t be too big of a problem for Carmen’s Crew, right? Let’s take a quick look at what the Marquette alumni (hence the name Golden Eagles) bring to the table, as they look to win the $2 million.
Note: Tip-off time is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, with the game broadcast on ESPN.
The No. 1 seed in the Wichita Region, the Golden Eagles cruised in their first matchup against Ft Hood, 89-72.
Their second game, though, was much closer. Against Team Colorado, a group consisting of scoring leaders Marcus Hall, Chris Copeland and Marcus Relphorde, the Marquette men survived, 83-81. Outscoring Colorado by five in the fourth quarter, the Golden Eagles got 20-plus point efforts from Elgin Cook and Dwight Buycks.
Another close game would follow against Sideline Cancer in the Wichita Regional Final. Though not as close as their contest against Colorado, Golden Eagles triumphed, 88-80. It wasn’t a flashy win for the Marquette stars, but they didn’t allow Sideline Cancer to lead at any point in the game. Buycks proved again to be the de facto force on offense, while Jamil Wilson was second leading scorer with 22 points.
Now in the quarterfinals, the Golden Eagles ended the Cinderella run for No. 8 Jackson TN Underdawgs. There was no need for the Golden Eagle fans to sweat this one out, as a big game from Wilson eased the Marquetters into the semifinals. It didn’t begin ideal—Golden Eagles trailed 8-0 out of the gate—but they pulled away. Points off turnovers and fastbreak buckets were the x-factors down the stretch.
Close calls were back on the menu against Team Hines, though, in the semifinals.
Wilson and Buycks were both held below 12 points, but Cook broke off a powerful performance to lift the Eagles into the Final. A back and forth contest that featured 22 lead changes and 18 ties, a game-ending three by Travis Diener sent the audience home.
The guys to keep an eye on
- Not the leading scorer, but nowhere near the bottom. Steady hand.
- Led the team with 21 points in the semifinal against Team Hines. Also pulled down 10 rebounds against Team Hines.
- Modest nine points and 3-of-6 performance in the quarterfinals against Underdawgs. Also chipped in seven boards, three assists and three steals.
- Unusually rough Wichita Regional Final game against Sideline Cancer. Held to just one point on 0-of-7 shooting.
- Uncorked 18 shots against Team Colorado—made nine of them. Second leading scorer for Golden Eagles versus Colorado with 26 points. Went 5-of-8 from beyond the perimeter.
- Went 8-of-12 in the opener against Fort Hood, dropping a total of 21 points. He took five shots from downtown—burying three. Also hauled in nine boards.
- Chips in a few baskets here and there. Expect a few buckets and a handful of points. Also expect a few rebounds and assists.
- Twelve points in the semifinals versus Team Hines.
- Another 12 points (and three assists) against Sideline Cancer. Also fielded three rebounds.
- A sparse statline against Team Colorado. Highlight was a six-point effort.
- The Captain in Game 1. Had rough start against Fort Hood, going 2-of-8 for seven points. Drew four fouls.
- Mr. Buckets
- Team Hines found a way to slow him down, holding him to 10 points. Went 4-of-9 from the floor and committed nine turnovers.
- In 26 minutes on the floor, scored 16 points (8/9 makes from free throw) in quarterfinals versus Underdawgs. Grabbed five boards (four defensive).
- Most efficient game came against Sideline Cancer in Wichita Regional Final. Went 13-of-15 from the field, 4-of-4 from downtown, and scored 34 points.
- Led the scoring onslaught against Team Colorado in Game 2. Put together a 12-of-21 (3-of-6 from 3PT) shooting effort for 28 points.
- Led the team against Fort Hood with 25 points. An inside threat in the early going, making 6-of-9 from the floor—all inside the perimeter. Dished the ball seven times in the win.
- A steady hand for scoring
- Tallied eight points against Team Hines, and led the Marquette alumni in the semifinal with 13 rebounds.
- Led the scoring in the quarterfinal victory. Put 26 points on the board on 9-of-16 (4-of-7 3PT) shooting.
- Was second leading scorer (22 points) against Sideline Cancer. Hit six threes in the game, doing his part to push Golden Eagles to TBT Quarterfinals.
- A bucket here, a bucket there
- Had only six points against Team Hines, but ended the game with a three-pointer.
- Five points in quarterfinal win. Hit 1-of-2 from three.