When Jewuan Long made a layup to put the Racers up 46-41 with 7:43 to play, the crowd responded with the kind of roar usually reserved for that other Kentucky team.
But the Golden Eagles had plenty of practice at rallying during the regular season, when they came back to win six games after trailing by 11 or more points, and never doubted they could come back against the Racers.
''Eight minutes,'' Johnson-Odom said, ''is like 30 minutes.''
Todd Mayo made a pair of free throws, and Crowder banked in a jumper off the glass. Davante Gardner, who missed eight games at the end of the season with a left knee strain, followed with a layup and a pair of free throws to put Marquette back in front 49-46.
Ivan Aska briefly halted the Marquette run with a putback, but the Golden Eagles kept right on going. After another Gardner layup, Crowder took a charge and then came down to the other end and coolly drilled a 3, sending the outnumbered Marquette fans into a frenzy.
Even the university president, the Rev. Scott Pilarz, was pumping his fist and screaming, ''We are! Marquette!''
''We were a couple plays from closing the game out, and I just wanted to make the next big play,'' said Crowder, the Big East player of the year. ''I really wanted to make that play defensively, and it worked out in my favor. I just wanted to try to get a steal, a charge, a rebound, something. I just wanted to make that play. I knew at that time it was big in the game, and it was the next big stop that we needed.''
Crowder added another free throw before Long was able to end a four-minute scoring drought. But it was too late. The Racers were just 2 of 12 with five turnovers over the last 7:43.
''I told them in the locker room that I just - I wish I could have figured out a way to get them through the last seven minutes,'' Prohm said. ''I don't think we wore down. We've got a tough, resilient group ... We just didn't finish some plays on the offensive end that we had to do in order to withstand some of their run-outs and some of their execution, and we didn't.''