By Drew Olson Special to Published Dec 07, 2008 at 1:21 PM

Who was the big winner Saturday night Downtown?

If you answered "Marquette" or "Buzz Williams," well, it would be tough to argue. The Golden Eagles scored a hard-fought 61-58 victory over rival Wisconsin.

The big winners, though, may have been the restaurants and bars Downtown. The proprietors always see an uptick in business when there is a sold-out event at the Bradley Center.

This game, though, was special.

The Marquette-Wisconsin rivalry creates a buzz like few other sporting events in town. The fact that the game started 8:30 p.m., at least an hour later than usual, gave many of the sellout crowd of 18,895 a chance to enjoy a steak, a leisurely burger and a few beverages before tip-off.

Beginning at about 5:30 p.m., you could see crowds filtering in to places like Capital Grille, Mo's and Kincaid's. Major Goolsby's, Buck Bradley's and Water Street establishments were jumping, too.

When the game ended, the bars near the Bradley Center remained busy considerably longer than "let's-get-one-and-head-home-while-traffic-is-heavy" situation that often exists after events.

With the economy sputtering and interest / attendance in the Bucks in a pronounced lull, it was heartening to hear cash registers ringing and see people enjoying an exciting night Downtown.

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.