With tonight's NCAA Selection Show, we finally know where and when Marquette, the Big East's regular season and tournament champion, will be starting their tournament run.
Marquette will be traveling to Champaign, Illinois, to face old nemesis Louisville in the first round of the 2013 NCAA tournament on Friday, December 6. The winner of the Marquette-Louisville match will advance to play the winner of national #13 seed Illinois and Morehead State on Saturday, December 7.
It's a complete joke that Marquette is not one of the 16 national seeds. As of last Sunday, Marquette was ranked #10 in the NCAA's RPI calculation. On top of that, all they did this week was go out and beat #41 Butler for the third time this season and beat #16 Creighton for the second time this season, with this win coming on the road and in the Big East championship game. On top of THAT, all five of the teams that Marquette lost to this season - BYU, USC, Florida, Penn State, and Creighton - are all in the 64 team field. It's actually insulting that Marquette is getting sent to the same site as the #13 seed, as there's almost no explanation why the Golden Eagles aren't seeded, much less seeded right at the #13 slot.
Louisville (23-7) earned their spot in the field by winning the American Athletic Conference regular season title with an 18-0 record. Yes, that's right, the AAC got so lazy after Marquette and the other six schools left, they didn't even bother having a conference tournament. But that makes sense, as Louisville clinched the regular season title with THREE matches to go, and the Cardinals are the only representative from the AAC, because the rest of the conference SUUUUUCKS.
Marquette and Creighton are the only two representatives from the Big East in the field of 64. The Bluejays will be heading to Lawrence, Kansas, where they'll play Arkansas in the first round on Friday, December 6th. As such, this serves as official notice to the other seven teams in the league that they need to get their acts together. Given Marquette's RPI the last time we checked, the only real explanations for the Golden Eagles not earning a seed are 1) Someone on the selection committee has an ax to grind or 2) The selection committee decided that the 15-1 conference record wasn't impressive enough because the Big East isn't strong enough. You tell me which one you'd rather be true.
From reading the official NCAA bracket, it looks like Marquette will play Louisville at 4:30pm Central on Friday. Things can change, of course, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for information as it happens...
Golden Eagles moved up to No. 8 in Sunday's #ncaavb RPI. MU will travel to Illinois (No. 20) to face Louisville (No. 42) on Friday.— Marquette Volleyball (@MarquetteVB) December 2, 2013
OH COME ON NOW.
I've checked the RPI against the bracket. 14 of the top 16 teams in the RPI earned one of the 16 national seeds in the NCAA tournament. Getting hosed out of a seed are #8 Marquette and #16 Creighton. What a surprise. Two Big East schools have been declared unworthy of hosting NCAA tournament games.
So, okay, fine. The NCAA hates the Big East. But if you're going to intentionally shove two Big East teams out, why did #17 Hawaii and #20 Illinois get the spots? If you're going to skip over two teams deserving of seeds like #18 Oklahoma and #19 Florida State to get to Illinois anyway, why are you forcing three teams - Idaho State, BYU, and Arizona State - to travel to Hawaii to play? Yes, I realize the concept of "Trip To Hawaii" is fantastic. But it's not cheap, and it's definitely not easy to swing on short notice like these schools now have to pull off.
What complete crap.