March With Marquette: What to know as men’s and women’s basketball teams start NCAA Tournament journeys 

It’s the most exciting time of year for any college basketball fan, and the blue and gold ribbons adorning streetlamps down Wisconsin Avenue signify March Madness has begun for Marquette! 

For the second straight season, Marquette’s men’s and women’s teams are each competing in their respective NCAA Tournaments. The university is one of only 22 to have both teams dancing. 

New to following basketball and looking to get swept up in the excitement? Here’s what you need to know. 

The men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments take place each March and April, with schools from around the country competing to see who will be crowned national champions. Sixty-eight teams compete in both tournaments and are ranked, or seeded, based on their accomplishments during the regular season. The tournament is played in a single-elimination format, meaning teams that win move on to the next round, while their foes’ seasons come to an end.

Get in the spirit!

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to don Marquette spirit wear on women’s and men’s basketball gamedays throughout the NCAA Tournament.

Watch parties will be held for the men’s opener on Friday, March 22, at 1 p.m. on the first floor of the Alumni Memorial Union and at the Union Sports Annex. Snacks will be available at both locations. During the party, students can create their own plush eagle, cow or teddy bear with a Marquette shirt in AMU 163.

The women’s watch party will begin Saturday, March 23, at 3:45 p.m. on the first floor of the AMU. The Union Sports Annex will additionally be open for viewing.

UPDATE: A watch party will be held in the AMU on Sunday, March 24, for the men’s second-round game. Timing is TBD.

The campus community is additionally invited to celebrate both teams as they depart from the Al McGuire Center to start their respective tournament journeys.

The men’s team will embark from the lobby on Wednesday, March 20. Attendees should arrive by 2:30 p.m. The women’s team will head out on Thursday, March 21, with attendees asked to arrive by 12:45 p.m.

As for the first round matchups?

No. 2 Men’s Basketball vs. No. 15 Western Kentucky 

When: 1 p.m. on Friday, March 22 

Where: Indianapolis 

Where to watch: TBS 

What you should know about Marquette 

Marquette is a No. 2 seed for the second straight season, a feat it had never previously accomplished in the program’s over-100-year history. The Golden Eagles are ranked as the seventh best team in the field. Tyler Kolek, who is looking to return to action after suffering an injury, leads the nation in assists per game and was named an All-Big East first team selection. Oso Ighodaro was a second-team All-Big East selection and was named the conference’s Scholar Athlete of the Year, becoming the first Marquette player to earn the honor. Despite Kolek’s absence, the Golden Eagles defeated Villanova and Providence in the Big East tournament before falling to defending national champion UConn in the title bout. 

The Golden Eagles’ foe 

The Hilltoppers secured their first appearance in the big dance since 2013 by defeating UTEP 78-71 in the Conference USA Tournament championship. The squad is led offensively by Don McHenry, a Milwaukee native and graduate of the Milwaukee Academy of Science, who plays a speedy game. Western Kentucky ranks third in the country in pace, measured by the average amount of possessions per game. 

These teams have only matched up once before all time, a 79-60 win for Marquette in the 1976 NCAA Tournament.

The Marquette women’s basketball team celebrates its name being called during the NCAA Tournament selection show on Sunday, March 17.

No. 10 Women’s Basketball vs. No. 7 Ole Miss 

When: 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, March 23 

Where: South Bend, Indiana 

Where to watch: ESPNU 

What you should know about Marquette 

The Golden Eagles are back in the NCAA Tournament field for the second straight season —  and the third time under Head Coach Megan Duffy — thanks to a 23-8 record, two victories against ranked opponents and a third-place finish in the Big East. Three players earned All-Big East honors; Liza Karlen was a unanimous selection to the first team, while Jordan King was selected to the second team and Mackenzie Hare was an honorable mention. Marquette has qualified for six of the last seven tournaments and is in the field in back-to-back years for the first time since 2018 and 2019. 

The Golden Eagles’ foe 

Ole Miss orchestrated its third straight 20-win season this year, setting a new program record of 12 wins in conference play. The Rebels have two first-team all-conference selections in Marquesha Davis and Madison Scott, who both average over 12 points per game. The Ole Miss program has experienced plenty of success in its 49 years of play, making 11 Sweet Sixteens and five Elite Eights. These teams have only played each other once before, an Ole Miss victory in 2004. 

More information about both matchups can be found on Want to teach your friends and family more about Marquette as the Golden Eagles enter the March Madness spotlight? Check out the top 10 things to know about Marquette