clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How to watch No. 12 Texas at No. 8 Marquette

The Longhorns face off against the Golden Eagles and former Texas head coach Shaka Smart.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NCAA Basketball: Marquette at Wisconsin Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK

In the biggest non-conference matchup of the 2023-24 season for the No. 12 Texas Longhorns, head coach Rodney Terry and his team travel to Wisconsin on Wednesday to play the No. 8 Marquette Golden Eagles in a game that has ramifications for both team’s postseason resumes.

“These are the types of games you really use to build a lot of chemistry,” Texas head coach Rodney Terry said Monday. “You get a chance to go into a hostile environment to against one of the top teams in the country on their home court. It’s gonna prepare us for Big 12 play because the conference is going to be like this every night.”

But the eventual tournament resumes are not the biggest storyline as the Longhorns face off against the Golden Eagles at Fiserv Forum in the BIG EAST/Big 12 Battle — it’s the first time Texas has played against former head coach Shaka Smart, and six members of his coaching staff, since the Wisconsin native left for his home state after the devastating lose to Abilene Christian in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, a game that made it untenable for Smart to remain on the Forty Acres.

Smart went 109-86 record in six seasons after replacing longtime head coach Rick Barnes in 2015, but three NCAA Tournament appearances, an NIT Championship, and a Big 12 Tournament championship are mere footnotes in Smart’s legacy with the Horns, which is defined by his inability to win a game in March Madness, going 0-3 with losses on a buzzer beater against Northern Iowa and in overtime to Nevada in addition to the upset by ACU.

“When it gets down to it, in postseason play you’re all on a neutral court. Everybody’s had an incredible season. No one’s gonna be intimidated by anyone during that time of the year, and sometimes it’s the draw that you get, and sometimes you gotta get lucky, too, as you continue to advance — you’ve got to have the ball bounce your way,” said Terry.

Suffice it to say that the ball didn’t bounce Smart’s way in Austin, so the Madison native took over Marquette from Steve Wojciechowski, who was fired after missing the tournament for two straight seasons and failing to win a game in the two appearances the Golden Eagles made in his seven years as the head coach.

Smart executed a quick turnaround, winning six games over Top-25 opponents on the way to an NCAA Tournament bid in his first year and then building on that success by tying the program record with 29 wins last season and earning a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, highest in school history, after notching Marquette’s first BIG EAST regular season and postseason titles.

Of course, the NCAA Tournament ended in disappointing for the Golden Eagles with a second-round upset by No. 7-seed Michigan State.

This season, Marquette is off to a 6-2 start with a win over No. 20 Illinois prior to a run to the Maui Invitational final that included a 14-point win over No. 2 Kansas and a three-point loss to No. 4 Purdue in the championship game.

But a rivalry game loss on the road to Wisconsin on Saturday left Smart frustrated about multiple aspects of his team’s performance in a game that featured Marquette shooting 24.1 percent from three-point range, committing 21 fouls that led to 28 free throws by the Badgers, and giving up 15 offensive rebounds. Despite the Golden Eagles ranking No. 16 in KenPom.com’s adjusted defensive efficiency coming out of the game, Smart wasn’t happy with his team’s overall defensive performance.

“We clearly have a long way to go building our championship habits on the defensive end, guarding the basketball, blocking out and rebounding, being quicker to the ball, defeating screens, contesting outside shots,” said Smart.

Numerous players struggle offensively for Marquette in the loss, too — playmaking forward Oso Ighodaro had four turnovers against two assists, former Texas signee David Joplin was 1-of-9 shooting from three-point range, and star guard Tyler Kolek also had a poor shooting performance.

Against Texas, Kolek will spend time matched up against junior guard Tyrese Hunter, a Wisconsin native himself who helped Iowa State reach the Sweet 16 after two strong performances in his last appearances at Fiserv Forum.

“Tyler’s a good point guard,” Hunter said Monday. “I played with him a little bit this summer in a couple open runs. We got to go at it. So I’m looking forward to that, but it’s a five-on-five game. We’ve got a game plan. They’ve got a game plan. We’ve all got to be confident and go out there and play.”

The underachieving Golden Eagles defense will have its own challenges — Longhorns senior guard Max Abmas is heating up, averaging 24.5 ppg over his last two games while hitting 17-of-32 (.531) from the floor, including 8-of-18 (.444) shooting from three-point range.

The activity level of sophomore forward Dillon Mitchell is also causing issues for opponents. In the win over Texas State, Mitchell recorded his second double double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebound while adding four blocks, a career high.

The two programs have only met once previously, a 65-56 win by Marquette in 1977.

How to watch

TV: FS1

Time: 7:00 p.m. Central

Livestream: FoxSports.com

Radio: The Longhorn IMG Radio Network broadcasts every Texas game statewide. Check TexasSports.com for affiliates.

Odds: The Longhorns are 8.5-point underdogs at DraftKings.

Odds/lines are subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.