Vander Blue flew high with 29 points Saturday, but Mike Hunt's story focused on the dog fight nature of the game.
On Saturday night, Marquette's men's basketball team advanced to its third consecutive Sweet 16. It defeated sixth-seeded Butler in perhaps the best game of the 2013 NCAAs. I wasn't able to travel to Lexington to cover the game, but Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was, and he filed a recap titled "Marquette gets a sweet sensation."

Firstly, Hunt's lead surprised me, since I figured he would certainly write it anecdotally. Instead, Hunt made his story's point right off the bat. He connected Marquette's success in the tournament to its success in the Big East season, which led to their first Big East regular season title. Hunt credited Marquette's "undeniable toughness" for late wins in recent days over both Butler and Davidson.

I thought Hunt made a strong choice in going with the lead he did. An anecdotal lead may have beaten around the bush more than he wanted, and he clearly wanted to leave no doubt about the importance Marquette's toughness.

Hunt also put his nut graph in the third paragraph right after the lead. His nut graph not only told the reader why he wrote the story, but also why he wrote it now. Every good nut graph should do that, and Hunt pulled the feat off impressively.

I found it interesting that Hunt had good quotes, but chose not to incorporate any until the tenth paragraph of the story. Maybe he did this because his lead wasn't anecdotal but descriptive, and he wanted to avoid letting his interviewees tell the story. Regardless, I would've liked to see a quote higher up, since they help move articles along.

The most powerful part of Hunt's story was when he used a four-word paragraph to drill home the main point of his story. He prefaced it by saying Marquette did what they do best when the game was on the line, and followed that up by writing "they got mad-dog mean." His whole story is about Marquette's grittiness and toughness, and so having that one phrase set apart from anything else strengthened his argument considerably.

Hunt does a great job with his Marquette basketball analyses, and this was no exception. Another article on Marquette that I liked came from Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports, who wrote about Buzz Williams' hectic week in Lexington, Ky. 

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