Of course what everyone is wondering once this game concludes is if it will have any bearing on Norm Roberts' job status. St. John's surprised a lot of people by keeping their embattled coach on at the end of last season but after another disappointing season, will be interesting to see what happens here.
Marquette, on the other hand, has a coach in Buzz Williams who would have been in the running for league coach of the year if Jim Boeheim hadn't orchestrated a stunning run at Syracuse.What's most impressive with Marquette's solid season after losing three 1,000-point scorers is how well the Golden Eagles play together. They're really smart on offense, patiently waiting for screens and cuts to find the extra man. In the first half, Marquette had seven assists on 10 made baskets.
That steady play is personified by Maurice Acker. The point guard, who ranks second nationally in assist to turnover ratio, has been up to his usual solid tricks. He's dished out three assists with just one miscue early.
Meantime the Johnnies look like the Johnnies of old -- really struggling on offense. St. John's is shooting just 29 percent and has missed all of its 3-point attempts.