Commentary

Mizzou takes tough one from Marquette

Updated: March 22, 2009, 9:19 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

My heart goes out to the kids from Marquette. They fought so hard, and yet it was heartbreak city for them once again.

Think about some of the tough losses they sufferred during the season. The game against Villanova in the Big East tournament, won by Dwayne Anderson at the buzzer. The Connecticut game when Dominic James suffered a broken bone in his foot.

Buzz Williams' club was down 16 points against a tenacious Missouri team that presses all over the court. The Tigers force the tempo and take opponents out of their rhythm.

Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews played their hearts out. They led a furious comeback, often breaking the pressure and taking the ball to the basket.

James showed so much guts by playing today after having surgery on February 26th. Unfortunately they did not get to the winner's circle.

McNeal, Matthews and James gave the school so much over their four years and it was such a tough way to go out.

Marquette came back and took the lead. At the end, Missouri made key baskets and free throws. Freshman Kim English was so calm and composed making two foul shots when he came off the bench for the injured J.T. Tiller in the final minute.

Now Missouri goes on to take on Memphis in what figures to be an exciting game.

Give credit to the Tigers of Mike Anderson for a great win. The kids from Marquette deserve a salute for their comeback and what the trio of McNeal, Matthews and James did over four beautiful years in Milwaukee deserves big-time appreciation.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.