Today's the day when ESPN rolls out the brackets for all of the holiday season exempt events that they sponsor/broadcast/outright own. You can check out their College Basketball Nation blog for all of the events if you're interested, but we're paying attention to The Orlando Classic here.
Your Golden Eagles will be taking on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the first round of the tournament. That game will be on Thanksgiving night, Thursday, November 27. Game time on ESPN2 is scheduled for 7:30pm Central time, although I'd lean more towards 8pm with that Michigan State-Rider game scheduled for 5:30. The MU-GT winner will advance to get the winner of Michigan State-Rider on Friday night, and it's probably a safe bet that that winner will be the Spartans.
I think this is a pretty favorable draw for Marquette. First off, the Yellow Jackets finished last year under .500, and on top of that, they're an ACC team and Bryan Gregory has been running the show there for three seasons already. That means that new Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski has a brain full of tidbits about what Tech is likely to be running from his time on the sidelines at Duke. Find a way to win that one, and Marquette gets to tangle with a Michigan State team that's lost Gary Harris, Adreian Payne, and Keith Appling, not to mention the freshly kicked out Kenny Kaminski. It's still Michigan State and still Tom Izzo, so it won't be a picnic, but MU could be catching them before they have a chance to figure out what kind of team they are.
It's definitely preferable to bumping up against Kansas in the early going, and yes, the Jayhawks lost a lot from their team, but you don't win 10 straight Big Ten regular season championships by being a pushover early in the season either.
Your thoughts on the draw? Thumbs up? Thumbs down?