The Marquette alumni team loses chance at another $1 million in The Basketball Tournament
The Golden Eagles saw their chance for another $1 million payday in The Basketball Tournament disappear down the stretch on Saturday.
The team made up of mostly former Marquette men's basketball players fell to Boeheim's Army, 73-69, in the TBT quarterfinals at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio.
The Golden Eagles won the winner-take-all prize last year and were among the favorites in the 64-team TBT bracket. They have been mainstays in the 8-year-old summer tournament, reaching the quarterfinals in 2017, the semifinals in 2018 and the title game in 2019 before finally winning the cash prize.
The MU team looked ready to pull away late in the third quarter against Boeheim's Army, which features many former Syracuse players. The Golden Eagles took a 56-45 lead after a 10-0 run that included 2 three-pointers by 39-year-old sharpshooter Travis Diener.
The Syracuse team cut the lead to 58-50 heading into the fourth quarter and then had a 10-0 run of its own to even the score at 62-62 at the 4 minute 24 second mark.
The Golden Eagles' Dwight Buycks, who scored a game-high 22 points, then hit a tough baseline jumper. Head coach Joe Chapman immediately called a timeout, initiating the tournament's Elam Ending at the first dead ball under the 4-minute mark.
Since Buycks' jumper gave the MU team a 64-62 advantage, the target score was set at 72 by adding eight to the highest total.
Boeheim's Army had trailed the entire game until Tyrese Rice, a standout at Boston College from 2005-2009, hit two free throws for a 68-66 advantage.
A few possessions later, Rice hit a layup for a 71-66 lead.
Buycks gave the Golden Eagles some hope by nailing a three-pointer, but Rice isolated on Diener and hit a one-handed floater to end the MU team's title defense.
Rice scored 20 points to lead Boeheim's Army, which plays in the semifinals on Sunday. The Syracuse team put up 11 more shots than the Golden Eagles thanks mostly to 18 offensive rebounds.