Poker chips help Marquette University win March Madness return

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament continues this weekend as Marquette University looks to continue the school’s March Madness campaign. As a No. 2 seed, they were among the favorites to go deep, but the Golden Eagles turned around after a poor first half in their opener against No. 15 seed Western Kentucky.
Trailing 43-36 at halftime, the Golden Eagles needed some inspiration, and head coach Shaka Smart used some unique moves to keep his team focused and inspired in the second half.
“We created a poker chip for each meaningful experience throughout the season and tied them all together,” Smart said. “For example, last Thursday we had to beat Villanova twice. We thought we won the regular season game, but we didn’t. We need to win again. So on the back of the chip it says, “Win.” twice the competition.”
“It’s valuable experience, it’s a chip in the pockets of our guys, and hopefully we can use it to do well at Indy this week.”
Many coaches might say they want their teams to go all-in during the season, but Smart went the extra mile and upped the ante with this poker-inspired motivational speech. Talk of smart chips has clearly served its purpose.
“We were behind at halftime and he just wanted to motivate us and get us back and say, ‘We’re giving it our all, we’re giving it our all, let’s go after him,’” the senior guard said. Tyler Kollek told MA Kate Telegraph. “So we were seven points down at halftime, but we had enough experience to go out there and do what we needed to do to win the game.”
The Golden Eagles won 87-69 and then beat Colorado 81-77 on Sunday. The team will face NC State on Friday in hopes of finally winning a national championship with their best efforts. Marquette University has received this award twice, in 1974 and 1977.

Post time: Apr-12-2024
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