Marquette star guard Tyler Kolek, who missed the final three games of the regular season with an oblique injury, is expected to be ready for the NCAA tournament, coach Shaka Smart said Wednesday.

Kolek won't play in the Golden Eagles' Big East tournament game on Thursday, but he's questionable for the rest of the tourney. As the 3-seed, they play the winner of Villanova vs. DePaul in the quarterfinals.

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"He's still day-to-day and not planning on playing tomorrow, but he's close," Smart said. "He practiced for part of our session today, and he's been working out and continues to get treatment. The plan is absolutely for him to play next week, and he's really made good progress."

Smart also told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "If today was the national championship game, he would be playing."

The 6-foot-3 senior suffered the injury in a Feb. 28 win over Providence before missing the rest of the regular season. At the time, the school said Kolek would be reevaluated before the Big East tournament.

Kolek, a first-team All-Big East selection and a second-team All-American according to ESPN, is one of the nation's premier point guards. He's leading the nation in assists this season and ranked third a year ago, while also averaging 15.0 points and 4.7 rebounds.

The former George Mason transfer averaged 20.4 points and 9.6 assists during Marquette's eight-game winning streak in Big East play earlier this season and had 18 assists against DePaul on Feb. 21.

Kolek's availability could be something that comes into consideration for the NCAA tournament selection committee when it determines Marquette's seed. As it stands, the Golden Eagles are a projected 2-seed.