After struggling down the stretch during the regular season, it was no surprise to see the Marquette Golden Eagles suffer a 83-64 loss to 12th-seeded Murray State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday in Hartford, Conn.
Marquette (24-10) dropped six of its last seven games after being ranked as high as 10th in the Top 25 polls back in February.
The Racers (28-4) got 17 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds from star guard Ja Morant to win their 12th straight win. He’s the first player to record a triple-double in the NCAA Tournament game since Draymond Green with Michigan State in 2012. Morant is just the 8th player to achieve the honor.
Markus Howard had 16 points in the first half and 26 for the game. Sam Hauser added 16 points for the Golden Eagles, who managed to shoot just over 32% as a team for the game.
Marquette hasn’t won a game in the NCAA Tournament since 2013.
Racers coach Matt McMahon said they wanted to make the Golden Eagles a one-on-one team. Their game plan worked.
Murray State will move on to the second round and face Florida State on Saturday for the right to move on to the Sweet 16.