A radio station out of Wisconsin is reporting that the Buffalo Bulls and Marquette Golden Eagles have agreed to play each other next season.
The details of the arrangement, if it exists, have yet to be released by either school.
The Marquette Golden Eagles are a member of the Big East. The private school is home to about 12,000 students and is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, their home games are played at the Bradley Center in downtown Milwaukee, where the Milwaukee Bucks NBA team also plays.
Despite only having 8,000 undergraduates, Marquette is usually ranked in the top quarter of division one teams for home attendence.
They joined the Big East in 2005, leaving Conference USA in their wake. In the period before the Big East and American Athletic Conference split the Eagles made the NCAA tournament eight straight years. They made it to the eliet eight once, sweet sixteen twice, and the round of 32 two more times.
Since the split, however, they have struggled a bit. The Eagles have made just one NCAA tournament appearance and a single trip to the NIT.
Steve Wojciechowski, of Duke fame, took over the program after Buzz Williams left to coach the Virginia Tech Hokies. While he has struggled to get Marquette back to their glory days he has, in the past three seasons, produced two campaign with 20 or more wins and advanced his team to the NIT quarter finals.
Marquette, like Buffalo, is returning nearly every player from this past season.
They are losing guard Andrew Rowsey to graduation. That’s a big loss but the Golden Eagles have the depth and some good incoming talent to make up for it.
Marquette is going to be a solid Big East team next season and they have a very strong and disruptive crowd at their games. This past year their final RPI was in the low 50’s, next season they should be at least that good.
This game, if it’s legit, is a great opportunity for the Bulls.
If UB had not won the MAC tournament it’s more than likely that they would not have received at at large bid. The Bulls had several chances last season for quality out of conference wins over good teams in our weight class, teams like Saint Bonaventure and Syracuse, but they failed to capitalize.
If the Men want to take their program as far as the women did this past season, far enough to earn an at large, these are the kind of games they need to play and win.