Nickname: Golden Eagles Coach: Tom Crean Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin Record at Marquette: 165-85 Conference: Big East Career Record: 165-85 Overall Record: 24-9 Conference Record and Finish: 10-6, 6th Seed, Region and Bid: 8, East, At-large Total NCAA Tournament Bids: 25 NCAA Tournament Record: 32-25 (.561) Final Four Appearances: 3 (1974, 1977, 2003) NCAA Tournament Championships: 1 (1977) Best NCAA Tournament Finish: NATIONAL CHAMPION Final ESPN/USA Today ranking: 20 Final Associated Press ranking: 20 Final Ratings Percentage Index: 22 Record vs. teams in the field: 6-5 Starters: F -- Lazar Hayward (6-6, 215, Fr. -- 6.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg) F -- Ousmane Barro (6-10, 245, Jr. -- 8.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg) G -- Jerel McNeal (6-3, 195, So. -- 14.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg) G -- Dominic James (5-11, 175, So. -- 14.8 ppg, 5.0 apg) G -- Wesley Matthews (6-5, 215, So. -- 12.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg) Key Reserves: F -- Dan Fitzgerald (6-9, 205, Jr. -- 7.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg) G -- David Cubillan (6-0, 170, Fr. -- 5.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg) (statistics before NCAA Tournament) OUTLOOK: Marquette rode its three-guard attack of sophomores James, Matthews and McNeal to a pair of eight-game winning streaks in its second season in the Big East Conference. But the Golden Eagles leveled off a bit with five losses in their final eight games and now have to go without McNeal, the league's Defensive Player of the Year who is reportedly out for the tournament with a thumb injury suffered before the regular-season finale. If there's one positive from McNeal's injury, it has been the improved play of reserve Fitzgerald, who finished the season with back-to-back 20 points outings. The freshman Cubillan also came off the bench and had a 20-point effort in the regular-season finale. But with the leading scorer James mired in a shooting slump (69-of-210, 30 percent) in his past five games, the Golden Eagles needed the presence of McNeal, who would have drawn the assignment of guarding Michigan State leading scorer Drew Neitzel. Top rebounder Barro must avoid foul trouble since the team lacks depth inside. NEXT GAME: Thursday vs (9) Michigan St at Winston Salem, N.C.
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Updated Wednesday, Mar 14, 2007