LOUISVILLE — Less than 48 hours after authoring the biggest comeback in NCAA tournament history, Brigham Young proved no match for Marquette, a high-energy team that ran away with a roundof-64 West Region victory on Thursday afternoon.
In an 88-68 win at the KFC Yum! Center, third-seeded Marquette quickly built a double-digit lead against the 14th-seeded Cougars, who had rallied from a 25-point deficit to beat Iona in Tuesday night’s play-in game in Dayton, Ohio.
Despite being the higher seed in an upcoming second-round game, Marquette will now find itself playing in a road environment on Saturday against sixth-seeded Murray State, whose campus is less than four hours away.
In its seventh straight NCAA tournament appearance, the Golden Eagles (26-7) amassed a 19-point first-half lead behind the play of forward Jae Crowder, the Big East player of the year who had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the first half alone.
Consistently quicker to the ball, Marquette excelled largely because of offensive rebounding and second-chance points. Crowder alone had five offensive rebounds in the first half.
The Golden Eagles were in control throughout. Even after BYU’s Noah Hartsock sank a 23-foot three-pointer, Marquette’s Todd Mayo quickly answered with his own three-pointer to keep the lead at 13 points with just over seven minutes to play.