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Wildcats to Take on Marquette Thursday at BIG EAST Tournament
Mikal Bridges in a Jan. 28 win at Marquette
Mikal Bridges in a Jan. 28 win at Marquette
March 8, 2018

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The No. 2 seed Villanova Wildcats will open play in the 2018 BIG EAST Tournament presented by Jeep Thursday night at 7 p.m. against No. 7 seed Marquette (19-12 overall, 9-9 BIG EAST).

The Golden Eagles advanced to the quarterfinals by downing DePaul 72-69 on Wednesday evening at Madison Square Garden. Andrew Rowsey scored 25 points to lead the Golden Eagles, who held a 39-27 lead at halftime before the Blue Demons rallied to tie the game at 61.

Marquette has won three straight as it attempts to position itself for a possible NCAA Tournament berth. After Wednesday night’s game Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski was asked about the matchup with the Wildcats.

“Against Villanova you have to play a pretty flawless game in all aspects, offensively, defensively,” he stated. “They present so many challenges on both ends of the floor. We're going to have to play our best basketball.”

Villanova (27-4 overall, 14-4 BIG EAST) defeated the Golden Eagles in both meetings between the two squads in January. On Jan. 6 at the Wells Fargo Center, the Wildcats staved off a huge effort from guard Markus Howard to post a 100-90 victory. Later in the month in Milwaukee, VU again resisted a late Golden Eagles charge to claim an 85-82 win.

The Wildcats traveled to New York on Tuesday evening and practiced in Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon. They are 8-2 in BIG EAST Tournament play since the BIG EAST moved to its current 10-team alignment ahead of the 2013-14 season and were the 2015 and 2017 champions of this event.

Also on Wednesday, junior guard Jalen Brunson was named the BIG EAST Player and Scholar-Athlete of the Year while Omari Spellman was selected as the conference’s Freshman of the Year.

The 2017-18 Villanova Men’s Basketball season is presented by KeyBank.