Marquette Opens With Xavier at Old Spice Classic


By: David Kay

I already took vacation days during Feast Week.  That’s how much good college basketball is played during the week of Thanksgiving.  Plus, I am holding out hope that I will be eating turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing with Mickey, Minnie, and friends in Orlando in between watching Marquette play at the Old Spice Classic.  To quote Jerry Maguire, “Who’s coming with me?”

The brackets have been released for that four-day tournament with the Golden Eagles drawing a tough opening round match-up against Xavier.  That game will be played Thanksgiving afternoon at 1:00 CST with either Michigan or Creighton waiting in the wings for MU depending on the outcome of their first games.  The field also includes 2009 NCAA Tournament teams Florida State and Baylor, as well as Alabama and Iona.  (Click here for the complete Old Spice Classic bracket)

Xavier is coming off a 27-8 season in which they were bumped out of the tourney in the Sweet 16 by Pitt.  With that being said, the Musketeers have suffered some major loses this off-season.  Head coach Sean Miller bolted to re-build the Arizona Wildcat program and was replaced by assistant coach Chris Mack.  The defending Atlantic 10 champs took an even bigger hit on the court as their top three scorers from this past season have all moved on.

Still, Xavier will be a very formidable early season challenge for a re-loading Marquette team.  Indiana transfer Jordan Crawford (the dude who hit the mainstream because he dunked on LeBron and Nike confiscated the tape) will help pick up the scoring load along with returning guards Terrell Holloway and Dante Jackson.  Starting center Jason Love and seven-footer Kenny Frease should provide some challenges inside for MU.


Last Thanksgiving Marquette played in the Chicago Invitational; beating Northern Iowa in the Semifinals, but losing to Dayton in the championship game.

This is a great link for a list of which teams are competing in pre-season tournaments being played in November.