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Tyler Kolek showcased his value for No.2 Marquette by scoring 21 points and hitting a crucial floater in the lane to help secure an 81-77 win over No.7 Colorado. He also contributed 11 assists and five rebounds in his second game back after missing time due to injury. Kolek’s return has been instrumental in Marquette’s success, as the team struggled in his absence. His performance has elevated Marquette’s chances of making a deep run in the tournament, with a Sweet 16 matchup against No.11 NC State on the horizon.

In the final moments of the game against Colorado, Marquette’s ball movement and composure under pressure helped secure the victory. Despite the Buffaloes’ efforts to apply defensive pressure and force turnovers, the Eagles managed to drain the clock and maintain their lead. David Joplin’s clutch free throws in the closing seconds sealed the win for Marquette, advancing them to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2013. The team’s resilience and ability to close out tight games bode well for their tournament prospects moving forward.

Colorado put up a strong fight against Marquette, rallying back from a 12-point deficit in the first half and pushing the Eagles throughout the game. Despite tying the score at 74-74 in the closing minutes, the Buffaloes couldn’t overtake Marquette and secure the lead. Kolek and Marquette’s ability to weather Colorado’s comeback attempts and maintain their advantage ultimately proved decisive in securing the win and advancing to the next round of the tournament.

Marquette’s success in the NCAA tournament has been heavily influenced by Tyler Kolek’s exceptional performance on both ends of the court. Leading the nation in assists per game, Kolek’s playmaking ability and scoring prowess have been critical for the Eagles’ success. His impact on the team was evident in their previous games, where Marquette struggled in his absence before returning to form with his return. With Kolek leading the charge, Marquette has emerged as a serious contender for a Final Four berth.

Coach Shaka Smart commended Kolek’s timely return to the lineup, noting the significant impact he has had on the team’s performance in critical moments. Kolek’s ability to contribute across multiple facets of the game, from scoring to playmaking, has proven instrumental in Marquette’s ability to compete at a high level in the NCAA tournament. As the Eagles prepare to face NC State in the Sweet 16, Kolek’s continued presence and leadership will be essential in their quest for tournament success and a potential run to the Final Four.

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