MILWAUKEE (WITI) – The story was written on the faces of the fans. Excitement quickly faded to worry, then disbelief, and ultimately disappointment.
Marquette University students and alums flocked to the unofficial fan headquarters, the Union Sports Annex to watch the game on big screen televisions. "The annex is one of the best places to watch when they win, and one of the worst places to watch when they lose,” said Blake Ward, a Marquette alum.
Marquette's charmed run in the NCAA tournament included a couple of close calls, and a couple of blow-outs. This time the golden eagles were on the wrong end of a blowout, a 55-39 defeat at the hands of Syracuse.
Syracuse played aggressive, suffocating defense, a development that made it seem like the stars were aligned against Marquette. “It just seemed like it was bad luck,” said Susan Whipple. “The ball wouldn't go in the basket no matter how they tried."
Marquette has not been to the Final Four in a decade, so fans were hoping for another trip. “It was a disappointing way to end it: a tough game, a tough shooting game that happens every once in a while,” Blake said. “It was a great season, beat my expectations by a long way.
Indeed many fans shared that sentiment, that this year's Marquette team far outpaced the pundits predictions.
“At the beginning of the season no one expected them to go anywhere and for them to make it this far, we're proud, “ Whipple said. “Were proud Marquette alumni, and for them to make it this far, we're proud of what they did and we're behind them 100 percent.”
And though it was hard to see it in the face of a season ending loss, the students, alums and fans say they hope they'll be smiling next year.
“I think the proved that they deserved to be here,” said Albojay Deacon, a Marquette graduate student. “They played hard. It's an unfortunate loss, but i think it's not one to hang your head about. Buzz Williams did a phenomenal job this year and i think we'll come back better and stronger next year."