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A Little Bit of History

A Little Bit of History

Brian Lucas (Assistant Director of Athletic Communications)

Wisconsin and Marquette will square off for the 114th time on Saturday at 5 p.m. CT at the Kohl Center. Though the game now takes place early in the season and has no bearing on the conference races for each team, the contest undoubtedly carries added significance for fans of both schools, if for no other reason than bragging rights. I’m sure there are many places throughout the state that will be decked out in either red or blue on Monday, depending on the outcome of the game.

The series dates back to 1917 and since 1958-59 the two teams have played each other at least once in every season except for 1985-86 (50 of the last 51 seasons). The only teams UW has faced more times than Marquette are Big Ten foes Minnesota (183), Illinois (176), Northwestern (162), Purdue (160), Indiana (152), Iowa (147), Ohio State (146), Michigan (144) and Michigan State (122).

In recent years, the rivalry has been taken to new heights. In eight of the last 10 meetings, one or both of the teams has been ranked. Last year’s game matched up the No. 11 (UW) and No. 17 (Marquette) teams in the country, the first time both teams were ranked in the top 20 at the time of the game. Saturday’s game also marks the third time in the last five years the game has been nationally televised (interestingly enough, the 2001 match-up between the Badgers and No. 14 Marquette was not available anywhere on live TV).

With all these games to choose from, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the memorable moments from the series. I’m going to work backwards since I’ve been doing men’s basketball here for the last seven years so those are obviously the games I remember best (and these may slant slightly towards UW – it is our web site).

This is a very sparse list. You would think with the internet being what it is these days, you could find anything and everything. Well, that’s not the case. All the articles I try to find prior to 200 come with a charge. And since you all know we at the UW Athletic Department are hurting for cash, I can’t very well justify spending $30 looking up articles for my blog. So if you’ve got some stories, I need to hear them. Hit me at bml@athletics.wisc.edu.

Dec. 9, 2006 in Milwaukee (No. 11 UW 70, No. 17 Marquette 66) – Alando Tucker jump starts his national Player of the Year campaign with 28 points in the Badgers’ four-point victory.
Box Score
Wisconsin State Journal Game Story

Dec. 20, 2003 in Madison (No. 22 UW 63, No. 23 Marquette 59) – For only the second time in series history, both team enter the game ranked in the top 25. UW battles back from an 11-point first-half deficit and holds off Marquette down the stretch.
Box Score
Wisconsin State Journal Game Story

Dec. 22, 2001 in Madison (UW 86, No. 14 Marquette 73) – Kirk Penney scores a career-high 33 points as Bo Ryan gets his first win over a ranked team as UW head coach. The Badgers jump out to a 24-8 lead midway through the first half and lead by as many as 20 in the opening frame. MU nearly comes all the way back, though, cutting the lead to one in the second half before Wisconsin put the game away.
Wisconsin State Journal Game Story

Dec. 23, 1978 in Milwaukee (UW 65, No. 16 Marquette 52) – Four Badgers score in double figures as Wisconsin breaks MU’s 15-game winning streak in the series.

Feb. 5, 1974 in Milwaukee (No. 6 Marquette 59, UW 58) – Marquette’s Maurice Lucas hits the game-winning shot, prompting then-MU head coach Al Maguire to leap onto the scorer’s table at the Milwaukee Arena. It also prompted a pretty famous picture. Since this is a family-friendly site, I can’t go into details nor link to the picture. The Warriors reached the national title game that season but defeated UW twice by a total of two points (once in overtime) that year.

Jan. 3, 1923 in Madison (Marquette 9, UW 8) – Marquette’s first win in the series (no, that’s not a typo … the final score was 9-8). I’m sure this will be appearing on Big Ten’s Classic Games sometime soon.


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