Big East basketball inspires sibling rivalry



Claire Ferry


As I claimed my seat a week ago to watch the Wildcats take on Marquette, I opened a Snapchat from my brother.  It was a picture of the players warming up on the Pavilion court on his humble apartment TV, captioned, “Game time.”

My brother, Luke, is a senior at Marquette and an avid follower of all things basketball. I’ve heard in-depth analyses of the Golden Eagles’ recruiting classes, many discussions of their young but promising lineup and enraged rants after heartbreaking losses.  The names of Luke Fischer and Henry Ellenson are just as common in our household as those of Ryan Arcidiacano, Daniel Ochefu or Josh Hart.

Despite being a loyal Marquette fan, Luke will still feebly admit to supporting the Wildcats when they play other opponents.  He comments, “Villanova has been the class of the Big East the past few years, so I’ve definitely followed them. I can appreciate the tenacious defense, and I envy their ability to actually make a three pointer.”

Needless to say, the showdown between the Wildcats and the Golden Eagles last week stirred up some Big East sibling rivalry.  Villanova was fighting to maintain its conference and national standings, but I was also fighting to take hold of bragging rights.  

It looked as if the contest was easily going my way in the first ten minutes of the game.  Chris Jenkins and Jalen Brunson hit two 3-pointers each before the four-minute mark to begin Villanova’s early dominance.  I had to celebrate their offensive prowess by sending some taunting messages Luke’s way, of course.

My confidence was soon shot down, however, by Marquette’s 18-2 point run. At the end of the first half, I received a few choice Snapchats with pictures of the score circled boldly in red.  Only in the latter part of the second half were my nerves calmed, as the Wildcats pulled away to win it, 83-68.  

Luke was a good sport about the loss but was definitely frustrated by the Golden Eagles’ blown comeback. With nothing else to say, he simply added, “I wish Arcidiacano would just graduate already—it seems like he’s been a senior since my freshman year.”  

This sibling rivalry will be tested again in late February as Villanova travels to Marquette.  Not only will that game prove whose team is tops, but it will also show the level of play from both squads heading into the conference tournament and beyond.

With high hopes of Marquette qualifying for the Big East tournament, Luke has his sights set on attending the games at Madison Square Garden.  I made him promise to fly into Philadelphia and take me along with him.  If you see a gold Marquette shirt next to Villanova navy in the stands, it just might be the two of us.

Maybe he was just being a nice big brother to me, but he did admit, “I hope Marquette pounds Villanova, but it’s a pretty decent consolation prize when you guys win.”  

It sounds to me like he’s turning into a bit of a ‘Nova fan.  Welcome to the nation, Luke.