Marquette seeded sixth in East
So imagine the Golden Eagles' surprise on Sunday, when a late-season run that included plenty of close victories in the Big East was rewarded with a No. 6 seed in the NCAA tournament East Regional.
That's better than most people in the program expected, including leading scorer Lazar Hayward.
"Way, way better," Hayward said. "Far better. I definitely thought it was going to be something way lower."
Marquette will play No. 11 seed Washington on Thursday in San Jose, Calif.
Coach Buzz Williams praised the character of coach Lorenzo Romar and called forward Quincy Pondexter a first-round NBA draft pickóbut that was about the extent of his scouting report as of early Sunday evening.
"Other than that, I really don't know a lot about them," Williams said.
Hayward and Pondexter were teammates on the USA Basketball World University Games team.
"He's a really, really good player," Hayward said.
Hayward said the Eagles have surpassed most people's expectations this season.
"A lot of people said we'd be in the NIT and finish last in the Big East," Hayward said. "I think we've shown that we're definitely a hungry team."