Busting Brackets

NCAA Tournament 2024: Ranking the starting lineups of each Sweet 16 team

Apr 3, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Tristen Newton (2) grabs the ball against
Apr 3, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Tristen Newton (2) grabs the ball against / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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6. Marquette (2-seed)

Oso Ighodaro (Senior – Forward)

Not an impactful player earlier in his career, Ighodaro has developed into a major weapon in his fourth season with the Golden Eagles. Again named Second Team All-Big East, Ighodaro averaged 13.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game for Marquette, contributing across the boards in another great season for this program. Ighodaro does several things well for the Golden Eagles and boasted a 21-point game at Maui over Kansas, though he’s not been as impactful in the Big Dance to this point.

Kam Jones (Junior – Guard)

Since he’s emerged as the Golden Eagles’ leading scorer, it’s fair to say that Jones continues to play his role well in his junior year. Jones averages 17.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 2.5 assists and was leaned on heavily in recent weeks with injury issues for Tyler Kolek. Jones is 41% from outside the arc on the season and recently dropped 28 points against Western Kentucky in his team’s first game in the NCAA Tournament.

David Joplin (Senior – Forward)

A productive sixth man last season, Joplin has taken on a bigger role in the starting frontcourt for the Golden Eagles, averaging 11.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game with decent shot blocking figures. He can be a high-volume 3-point shooter, has a decent impact on the defensive end, and had his latest double-double with a 13-point, 11-rebound effort in the first round of this Tournament. Joplin has actually scored in double figures in ten of Marquette’s last eleven games.

Tyler Kolek (Senior – Guard)

Last year’s Big East Player of the Year, Kolek has perhaps been even better in his third season at Marquette. The former George Mason point guard has put up 15.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 7.9 assists per game this season; numbers that could have been even better had he not missed the first few weeks of March. Regardless, Kolek leads the nation in assists per game and has led Marquette to their first Sweet Sixteen in over a decade, dropping at least 18 points and 11 assists in each of their first two Tourney contests.

Stevie Mitchell (Junior – Guard)

Much like last season, Mitchell has seen his production rise as a junior, playing an even more important role on this talented Golden Eagles squad. Mitchell averages 8.8 points and 4.1 rebounds, while his 1.9 steals per game sits 3rd in the Big East. He’s a backcourt presence who’s not going to score in bunches but impact the game in other ways. Still, he had decent efforts when Kolek missed time and did score 16 points in Marquette’s opening round win over Western Kentucky.