Marquette in a close game? No surprise. Marquette losing a close game? Now that's a surprise.
Twelve of Marquette's 20 Big East games this regular season were decided by three or fewer points - the Golden Eagles went 7-5 plus a two-point win in their Big East tournament opener - and at one point, they won three straight overtime games. But their luck ran out Thursday night in San Jose, Calif. as No. 11 Washington knocked out No. 6 Marquette, 80-78 in the first round of the East Regional.
Quincy Pondexter drove for a tiebreaking bank shot with 1.7 seconds left, extending Washington's remarkable late-season run into the NCAA Tournament.
Pondexter scored 18 points and Isaiah Thomas had 19 as the Huskies (25-9) won their eighth straight game after rallying from a 15-point deficit with 13 1/2 minutes left. Washington made two late defensive stops before its senior leader knocked in the winning basket. Lazar Hayward missed a half-court heave at the buzzer for Marquette (23-11), which didn't manage a field goal in the final 4:33.
Kentucky 100, E. Tenn. St. 71
Eric Bledsoe's eight 3-pointers set a Kentucky record for an NCAA Tournament game, and the top-seeded Wildcats dominated throughout in a first-round game of the East Regional in New Orleans.
Bledsoe, who finished with 29 points, hit his first eight three-point attempts before finally missing his first - and last attempt - from long range late in the second half. Still, he surpassed Tony Delk's previous school record of seven threes in the 1996 championship game against Syracuse.