6. Marquette Golden Eagles - 9-2
After a blowout win over Notre Dame, the Eagles looked to head into Big East play with an easy win over St. Thomas, one of the newer D-I NCAA Basketball programs. Even without starting guard Stevie Mitchell, it should've been a drama-free night.
It looked that way, as Marquette was up by double-digits at halftime. However, the Tommies went on a run, cutting the deficit to just 1 point with a few minutes to go. The good news is that the upset was withheld from the Summit League squad, as the favorites held on for the 84-79 victory.
Big man Oso Ighodaro led all scorers with 21 pts and 8 rebounds, while star guard Tyler Kolek finished with 12 pts and 10 asts, with half of his points coming in game-saving free throws in the final stretch. Chase Ross, who filled in for Mitchell in the lineup, finished with 11 pts in 30 minutes played.
With wins over Illinois, UCLA, Texas, and Kansas, Marquette accomplished a lot in its non-conference schedule. Now, they have to defend their Big East championships in a league that's loaded at the top. Up first is a road battle at Providence, followed by a home matchup against Georgetown.