It was a stressful Sunday for Marquette, waiting to see if they would make the NCAA Tournament to join the March Madness. Their name was not called.
This is the first year since 1998 the state of Wisconsin has not been represented at the big dance.
Instead, Marquette was invited to play in the NIT. They will host Harvard Wednesday.
"It's not exactly what we wanted, but it's great. We need to look at the opportunity as such. Our program is going to be a program that's going to win a lot in March. There's a process to all of that, and this is part of the process. This tournament and the quality of the field, which is incredible, gives up the opportunity to test ourselves," Marquette Head Coach Steve Wojciechowski said.
The Golden Eagles finished this season with a 19-13 record. They had a tough Big East schedule facing some top teams Xavier twice and Villanova three times. These are teams that Wojciechowski said have a chance to win the national championship.
Other arguments to include Marquette were the fact the Golden Eagles swept Seton Hall and won road games against Providence and Creighton. Coach Wojo certainly thought Marquette deserved a spot.
"I believe we're an NCAA tournament team, but that's not something I get to decide on. I think our team had a really good year, especially considering our youth. I think we had a really good year. I think our team is capable of winning games in the NCAA tournament, but that's for somebody else to decide," Wojciechowski said.