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Marquette Basketball: It's Time To Take NIT Bracketology Seriously

That's where we are this season.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

At 16-10 on the season, 5-8 in Big East play, and a 2-7 record against KenPom.com top 50 teams, Marquette's not going to get an at large bid to the NCAA tournament.

Period.  Full stop.  Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.  Direct your questions to the nearest brick wall.

It's not happening.  If you want to dream about a Saturday night win at the Garden, that's your business, but that at-large train has left the station.

There's more to the college basketball postseason than the NCAA tournament, though.  The NIT's still kicking around, and that's definitely a viable landing spot for the Golden Eagles.

Big Apple Buckets assembles a version of bracketology for the NIT, and in the most recent update on Wednesday morning, Marquette sits as a six seed in one of the four 8-team brackets.

There are two caveats here.  First, the bracket is assembled by using KenPom's end of season projections.  That means MU is a six seed with the expectation that they'll be 18-13 and 7-11 heading to the Big East tournament.  If Marquette snags more than two wins in their final five games, they'll probably end up a bit higher than a six seed.  If Marquette grabs a couple of wins in the Big East tournament without winning the whole damn thing, that'll boost them up the charts a bit as well.

The other caveat is that the 32 team projection is using entirely at-large bids.  If you win the regular season title in your conference, you're guaranteed to get a spot in the NIT if you don't win your conference's automatic bid in the league tournament.  Is Hampton in first place in the MEAC right now?  Yup.  The Pirates have also lost twice in league play, so you know there's a chance that they don't win the MEAC tournament, and thus, they'll occupy one of the 32 NIT spots.  SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean marks 24 conferences lining up as a one bid league in his NCAA Bracketology update from Tuesday, so that's a lot of spots that could get vacuumed up by regular season champions if things don't go their way in the conference tournament.  To provide some context, 12 teams used their NIT automatic bid in 2015, and they occupied all four 7 and 8 seeds and two of the 6 seeds.

tl;dr on that last paragraph: Marquette would benefit from getting as many wins as possible between now and Selection Sunday to make sure that they don't get bumped from the NIT by a regular season champ that loses in their conference tournament.

Conference tournaments start on March 1, and the first automatic bid will be handed out on March 5.  We'll have to keep an eye on those....