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Pitt Vs. Marquette: Panthers Face Unranked But Talented Golden Eagles

The Big East doesn't provide many breaks, and Pitt doesn't get one on Saturday when it faces the Marquette Golden Eagles.

It will be interesting to see what the crowd is like for this game. Pitt's football team will be playing in the BBVA Compass bowl game against Kentucky earlier Saturday afternoon. That, coupled with the snow in the region, may be enough for fans to stay home and enjoy both games.

Both teams are 2-0 in Big East play and Marquette enters with an 11-4 record. Three of those four losses came against Duke, Gonzaga, and Vanderbilt - teams that have all been ranked this season - and the fourth was against a quality Wisconsin team. Those teams are a combined 47-10, so Marquette hasn't exactly been playing cupcakes. Even more impressive is that Marquette lost those four games by a total of 14 points, including a five-point loss to No. 1 Duke.

Marquette is led by Darius Johnson-Odom and Jimmy Butler, who each average 15 points per game. But their team is more than a two-man show. Pitt will also need to contain forward Jae Crowder, who is on a hot streak, averaging nearly 20 points over his past four games.

The Golden Eagles are one of the highest-scoring teams in the nation, averaging just over 80 points per contest and rank 6th in the country in shooting percentage, hitting more than 50% of their shots.

Meanwhile Pitt goes for its fifth straight victory since losing to Tennessee. The Panthers got a big scare in their last game on the road at Providence, trailing in the final minute before pulling out a narrow victory. This should be yet another good test for Pitt in the Big East.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.