March 28, 2013
There is no mistaking Marquette Coach Buzz Williams’s disgust for how others have assessed his team during the N.C.A.A. tournament.
He said with obvious derision that when his team won two close games, they were called lucky victories. He frequently mentioned, without prodding, that his team was ranked seventh in the Big East in a preseason poll. And he all but sneers when he observes that he had only one player on the all-conference team, and that was the second team.
So on Thursday night, after his team had demolished second-seeded Miami, 71-61, in a game Marquette led comfortably throughout, surely Williams would feel some vindication and contentment.
Recalling that an online magazine ranking the Round of 16 teams this week had placed Marquette dead last, Williams offered this analysis in his moment of celebration: “We’ll be dead last when we wake up Saturday morning. We will be eighth out of the eight left.”
Williams conceded he was a little on edge.
“Our edge is why we’re winning,” he said.
Even if Williams did not act happy about it, his third-seeded team made a convincing case that it belonged in the final game of the N.C.A.A. East Region, overpowering Miami in all facets of a game that Marquette led by 21 points midway through the second half.
Hectored by a precise yet punishing Marquette trapping defense, Miami (29-7) shot less than 30 percent from the field for most of the game and never led after the first three minutes of play.
Marquette (26-8) dominated the defensive boards, shot 54 percent from the field and neutralized Miami’s backcourt catalyst, Shane Larkin.
“They were very physical and got the ball out of my hands,” Larkin said. “They had a game plan to stopping us, and they made it work right from the start.”
The strategy against Larkin was to trap him with multiple defenders as soon as he crossed the halfcourt stripe. It led to disjointed, hurried offensive possessions and poor perimeter shots. Miami missed 18 of its 26 3-point attempts.
“It started right from the beginning, and we could all see we just didn’t have the juice,” Miami Coach Jim Larranaga said. “Nothing seemed to work.”
The Hurricanes, the regular-season and postseason tournament champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference, were playing without their biggest player and top rebounder, Reggie Johnson, who injured his knee in the Hurricanes’ victory over Illinois on Sunday. Several Miami players said they missed Johnson’s size dealing with the active and aggressive Marquette frontcourt.
And while he did not offer it as an excuse, Larranaga said his team had a bad week of practice, not just because of Johnson’s absence but also because of some minor injuries that kept players off the court. He said Larkin, who scored 14 points Thursday — most of them in garbage time — came down with an illness on Wednesday that had him “throwing up all night.”
“It’s not a reflection on anything, but they were circumstances that happened,” Larranaga said. “I know we didn’t look like ourselves.”
Marquette was led by the reserve forward Jamil Wilson, who had 16 points, and guard Vander Blue, who had 14. Blue was too quick for Miami’s talented backcourt, and Wilson went on a shooting spree, making three of four 3-point shots at pivotal moments in the game.
Marquette led early, 12-4, and by 13 points at halftime. Larranaga tried to jump-start Larkin, who had scored 3 first-half points, by moving him to different spots on the court in the second half. But Larkin missed a long jumper in the first few seconds of the half and then misfired on a drive through the lane.
The Hurricanes’ futility continued, and Marquette’s 10-deep rotation of players kept coming at Miami. Wilson made successive long jumpers — one a 3-pointer — as the Golden Eagles extended their lead to 41-23.
There was a brief Miami rally, but Marquette, which looked fresher and more energetic, answered every charge. Miami could only misfire; at one juncture, the Hurricanes had missed 20 of 25 shots, including 10 of 11 3-point attempts.
In the end, the Marquette players professed their thankfulness to be playing another day. They did not expect to be made a favorite in Saturday’s regional final.
“We’re not a big name like Georgetown or North Carolina,” Blue said. “But we’re so used to people not saying anything good about us that it fuels our fire. Sooner or later, we’ll have to earn some respect. But it’s fine for now. We want to keep being the hunter and not the hunted.”
Jamil Wilson was born on November 21st, 1990 according to http://www.gomarquette.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/wilson_jamil00.html
November 21st, 1990
11 + 21 +1+9+9+0 = 51 = his life lesson = Formidable. Reputation.
November 21st, 1990
11 + 21 = 32 = his core number = Basketball. Winner. Champion. One of the best. Larger than life.
November 21st, 1990
21 +1+9+9+0 = 40 = his “secret number” = Doing his part. Pitching in. Helping out.
November 21st, 1990
11 + 21 +2+0+1+2 = 37 = his personal year (from November 21st, 2012 to November 20th, 2013) = Playing his heart out. Pouring his heart into it. Heart-centered leader. Deeply emotional.
37 year + 3 (March) = 40 = his personal month (from March 21st, 2013 to April 20th, 2013) = Doing his part. Pitching in. Helping out.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
11493 593165 47
his path of destiny = 47 = Fame. Name recognition. Having a bright future.
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