A rundown of Marquette's victories over top-10 teams in the past 20 years

JR Radcliffe
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Marquette guard Darryl Morsell (32) celebrates the Golden Eagles' 67-66 win over the Illinois.

What Marquette did on Monday — defeating a top-10 team in Illinois at Fiserv Forum to register the first major win of Shaka Smart's tenure as head coach  — proved to be an uplifting moment in time for Golden Eagles fans.

MU has enjoyed a number of top-10 wins in recent years, including a couple that surely come to mind immediately.

The Golden Eagles are 20-51 against top-10 teams since the year 2000.

A look at those victories (with rankings according to Associated Press):

Dec. 14, 2020: Marquette 89, (9) Creighton 84

MU found its offense with a 54-point second half and the Golden Eagles opened Big East play in Omaha with an upset victory. DJ Carton scored 20 points.

Dec. 4, 2020: Marquette 67, (4) Wisconsin 65

Justin Lewis is mobbed by his teammates after tipping in a missed free throw to give Marquette a 67-65 victory over Wisconsin at Fiserv Forum.

It's easy to forget that the Badgers, who brought back a ton of experience from a Big Ten co-champion, were ranked as high as No. 4. Freshman Justin Lewis tipped in a shot at the buzzer to give the Golden Eagles the thrilling victory.

Jan. 4, 2020: Marquette 71, (10) Villanova 60

Markus Howard scored 29 points and Koby McEwen added 22 to break out of a shooting slump.

Jan. 24, 2017: Marquette 74, (1) Villanova 72

Marquette players celebrate with fans after defeating Villanova.

In a thriller over the No. 1 team in the nation, graduate transfer Katin Reinhardt scored 19 points (all but one in the second half) and Luke Fischer 15 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, with fans storming the court thereafter. It was the first time Marquette had knocked off a No. 1-ranked team. MU trailed by as many as 17 points, but Reinhardt hit two free throws with 11.2 seconds left to give his team the lead. Jalen Brunson of Villanova missed the layup on the other end, and Sam Hauser grabbed the rebound. Villanova that year featured future NBA players Eric Paschall, Donte DiVincenzo, Mikal Bridges, Josh Hart and Burnson, plus NCAA hero Kris Jenkins.

Jan. 21, 2017: Marquette 102, (7) Creighton 94

One would assume if MU reached the century mark that Markus Howard would be heavily involved, but he finished with just 11 points. Instead, Katin Reinhardt scored 21 off the bench (including 10 straight at one point), and Luke Fischer was 8 of 9 from the field for 18 points. It was Marquette's highest-scoring output since joining the Big East in 2005-06. 

Some may forget the game because of the very next one on the calendar, the win over Villanova

Jan. 5, 2016: Marquette 65, (8) Providence 64

Marquette forward Henry Ellenson (13) brings the ball up court after a block and defensive rebound against Providence guard Kris Dunn as time runs out in the Golden Eagles' victory.

Henry Ellenson's block of Providence star Kris Dunn clinched a one-point road victory and capped a day for Ellenson in which he had 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Haanif Cheatham had 16 points in the win, and Duane Wilson scored 11 off the bench.

March 28, 2013: Marquette 71, (5) Miami 61

Marquette forward Jamil Wilson celebrates a 71-61 win over Miami in an East Regional semifinal in the NCAA college basketball tournament, in Washington in March 2013.

After Marquette won nail-biters over Davidson and Butler in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, the third-seeded Golden Eagles won much more convincingly in the Sweet 16 over top-5 Miami in Washington, D.C. Jamil Wilson scored 16 points and Davante Gardner 14, both off the bench, and MU led by as many as 22 over a team that was ranked No. 1 earlier in the season. For the first time in 10 years, the Golden Eagles were back to the Elite 8. Miami was seeded second.

Dec. 3, 2011: Marquette 61, (9) Wisconsin 54 

The Golden Eagles moved to 7-0 behind 17 points from Darius Johnson-Odom, snapping Wisconsin's 23-game winning streak at the Kohl Center. Freshman Derrick Wilson started at point guard with Junior Cadougan suspended, and Todd Mayo added 14 points as the backup.

Jan. 29, 2011: Marquette 76, (9) Syracuse 70

Jae Crowder hit half his shots despite an injured pinkie finger and scored 25 points, and Jimmy Butler added 19 points with eight rebounds. The Golden Eagles had been 0-4 against Syracuse since joining the Big East.

Jan. 10, 2011: Marquette 79, (9) Notre Dame 57

Marquette's Dwight Buycks celebrates a basket during game against Notre Dame at the Bradley Center.

MU went a staggering 12 of 17 from 3-point range for the easy win. Dwight Buycks posted a career high with 21 points on a perfect 5 of 5 from 3-point range, and Jae Crowder added 18 points.

March 11, 2010: Marquette 80, (10) Villanova 76

In the Big East Tournament, Lazar Hayward hit two free throws with 3.2 seconds left with his team up two points to seal a win at Madison Square Garden. He finished with 20 points, including a 3-pointer that put Marquette ahead with 1:51 to go.

Jan. 21, 2007: Marquette 77, (6) Pittsburgh 74

Marquette's Dominic James takes a foul shot in overtime against Pittsburgh.

Dominic James scored 23 points, including two go-ahead free throws with 0.9 seconds left in overtime for the road triumph. Pittsburgh then turned over the ball in the inbound play, and Wesley Matthews knocked down two more free throws to account for the final margin. James missed a buzzer beater in regulation after Pittsburgh tied the game with two free throws with 3.5 seconds left.

Nov. 21, 2006: Marquette 73, (9) Duke 62

The Golden Eagles won at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City for the CBE Classic championship behind 25 points from Dominic James, who was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. It was Marquette's second win over Duke in six tries. 

Marquette's Ousmane Barro challenges the shot of Duke's Lance Thomas.

Feb. 18, 2006: Marquette 84, (9) Pittsburgh 82

Two days after knocking off 17th-ranked Georgetown, MU did one better with a win at home over Pitt before a record crowd of 19,007. Steve Novak scored 27 points, including two free throws with 11.9 seconds left. 

Jan. 3, 2006: Marquette 94, (2) Connecticut 74

Marquette's Steve Novak celebrates during his 41-point performance against No. 2 Connecticut.

One of the more memorable wins in Marquette history came in the first game after Marquette joined the Big East. Steve Novak, of course, scored 41 points, with 16 rebounds and 6-of-13 shooting from beyond the arc. Freshman Jerel McNeal added 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Joe Chapman posted 12 points. It was the first loss for UConn, a team with five future NBA players.

Jan. 31, 2004: Marquette 77, (4) Louisville 70

Steve Novak buried 8 three-pointers for a then-career-best 30 points, one shy of the MU single-game 3-point mark set in 1990. The win snapped a 16-game winning streak for Louisville.

March 29, 2003: Marquette 83, (1) Kentucky 69

Dwyane Wade's triple-double in the Elite Eight against No. 1 Kentucky helped Marquette advance to the 2003 Final Four.

You knew this list was all building up to this one, right? In Dwyane Wade's magnum opus, the Golden Eagles thrashed the nation's No. 1 team in the Elite Eight at the Metrodome, earning the program's first Final Four trip since winning the 1977 title. Wade finished with a triple-double, and Robert Jackson added 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting and 15 rebounds.

March 27, 2003: Marquette 77, (4) Pittsburgh 74 

Though the Kentucky game that followed was the centerpiece of the 2003 Final Four run, Marquette had to gut out a win over another top-5 team in the Sweet 16. Dwyane Wade scored 22 points after a tough first half, and Robert Jackson added 16. Scott Merritt hit two big free throws with 12 seconds left.

Feb. 2, 2002: Marquette 74, (4) Cincinnati 60

Marquette became the first Conference USA team to beat Cincinnati three straight times and snapped the Bearcats' 20-game winning streak before a record crowd at the Bradley Center. Dwyane Wade made 9 of 13 shots for 25 points and eight rebounds, and Cordell Henry posted 20 points and five assists.

JR Radcliffe can be reached at (262) 361-9141 or jradcliffe@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JRRadcliffe.