December 29, 2011

Vanderbilt vs. Marquette preview

Vanderbilt Commodores (8-4) at Marquette Warriors (11-1)

Where: Bradley Center (18,600), Milwaukee, Wisc.

When: Thursday, 8 p.m. Central


Radio: Nashville: 97.1 FM

Rankings: Marquette is 14th in the AP poll and 14th in ESPN's; VU is unranked and did not receive votes in either poll

Warren Nolan RPI: MU is 9th, VU is 39th

The line: no line

Sagarin prediction: Marquette by 15

Pomeroy prediction: Marquette 80, Vanderbilt 68 (VU has a 16 percent chance to win)

Series record: Marquette leads 3-2, but VU won 77-76 in Nashville last year

PlayerHt.Wt.Cl.PPGRPG Pos.PlayerHt.Wt.Cl.PPGRPG
Brad Tinsley6-3210Sr.10.23.2 PG Junior Cadougan6-1205Jr. 7.62.1
John Jenkins6-4215Jr.20.62.7 SG Daruis Johnson-Odom6-2215Sr.17.9 3.5
Jeffery Taylor6-7225Sr.17.95.8 SF Vander Blue6-4200So.10.24.3
Lance Goulbourne6-8225Sr.10.47.3 PF Jae Crowder 6-6235Sr.17.37.3
Steve Tchiengang6-9245Sr.4.25.2 C Davante Gardner6-8290So.8.74.8

About Marquette

Three years ago, coach Williams took over a program that had been to three straight NCAA Tournaments before coach Tom Crean left for Indiana, and there's been no drop-off since. Williams won 25 games in his first season, then 22 in his second, with both seasons resulting in NCAA Tournament appearances.

The first year, the Golden Eagles were picked 12th in the Big East by the media. Most didn't think MU would make the NCAAs before his second season.

Last year, the Golden Eagles turned an 18-13 regular-season record against a brutal schedule into a great postseason, winning a pair of games in the Big East Tournament to earn an 11-seed in the NCAA Tournament, where they upset Xavier and West Virginia to get to the Sweet 16 before losing 81-63 to North Carolina.

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