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Tyler Kolek shined in No. 2 Marquette’s 81-77 victory over No. 10 Colorado with 21 points, including a crucial floater late in the game. Despite the Buffaloes’ efforts to pressure Marquette, they struggled to foul the Eagles in the final seconds, allowing Marquette to drain time from the clock before David Joplin sealed the win from the free-throw line. Kolek’s return to the Eagles after missing games due to injury proved crucial, as he not only led the team in scoring but also dished out 11 assists and had five rebounds.

Marquette’s struggles without Kolek were evident in losses to Creighton, UConn, and a defeat in the Big East tournament. Kolek’s impact was felt immediately upon his return, with a strong showing in the NCAA tournament first round where he led the country in assists per game. With Kolek back in the lineup, Marquette is now in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2013, setting their sights on a possible Final Four appearance. The Eagles are set to face No. 11 NC State in the next round after their win over No. 14 Oakland.

Despite a strong push from Colorado, Marquette managed to hold on to their lead throughout the game, with Kam Jones contributing 18 points and KJ Simpson leading Colorado with 20 points. The Buffaloes fought back in the second half to tie the game at 74-74 but were unable to take the lead. Marquette’s resilience and ability to execute under pressure helped them secure the win and advance to the next round of the tournament.

Kolek’s performance was instrumental in Marquette’s success, with his scoring, playmaking, and leadership on full display. Coach Shaka Smart praised Kolek’s impact on the team, noting his importance to their recent success. Kolek’s ability to elevate the play of his teammates, as well as his own stellar performance, made the difference in a tightly contested matchup against a formidable opponent like Colorado.

Marquette’s victory over Colorado was hard-fought and showcased their ability to rise to the occasion in crucial moments. The team’s resilience, especially in the absence of Kolek during regular-season losses, highlights their growth and potential as they continue their tournament run. With Kolek back in top form and leading the charge, Marquette has emerged as a serious contender with their sights set on making a deep tournament run and potentially reaching the Final Four.

In conclusion, Tyler Kolek’s standout performance in Marquette’s win over Colorado was a testament to his importance to the team and their success in the NCAA tournament. His return from injury proved pivotal in lifting Marquette to the Sweet 16 and positioning them as a formidable opponent in the tournament. With Kolek leading the way, Marquette has shown resilience, determination, and poise in the face of adversity, setting the stage for an exciting and potentially deep tournament run.

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