I'll be the first to admit: Marquette's recent run (11-3 since January 26) has been nothing short of incredible, transforming them from an 11-8 NIT possibility to a 22-11 NCAA Tournament lock. When the brackets come out today, most of the voters in the poll on your right agree that MU will be somewhere between a 6 and 8 seed.
Marquette has all the things going for them that the tournament committee looks for when ranking at large teams. They're an upper-tier team in a power conference. They played a brutal schedule. They're hot at the right time. With that said, I can't help but wonder how much better this team would look if not for one fateful day in January. Consider this list of the Eagles' 2009-2010 losses:
|North Carolina State||19-15||NR|
As your friend and mine Cookie Monster might say, one of these things is not like the other things. There are ten respectable losses here...and DePaul.
If you look at the standings on your left, you'll notice that DePaul came one game away from an 0-18 Big East Conference season in 2010. Unfortunately, that one game was their January 20 home match-up against Marquette - a brutal brick fight that ended with DePaul getting their only win in what would turn out to be a 1-19 run to finish the season.
Make no mistake, it's just one game, but a win would have made the "bad loss" section of MU's tournament resume look an awful lot nicer. If the worst thing you can say about a team is that they lost to NC State, Notre Dame and Florida State, you're talking about a pretty good team. Two of those three will probably make the NCAAs later today.
Maybe the tournament committee will look past one game and put these guys in the high end of our bracket projections anyway. But if they don't, Buzz and the boys will have one game to look back upon and wonder what might have been.