It’s a time honored tradition for outlets covering college basketball to release Way Too Early top 25s on the Tuesday after the NCAA tournament national championship game. It’s reasonable to think that, between having an awful defense and losing four players, Marquette has no business being in any of those top 25s. That’s fine. No big deal. Not the be all/end all of the world.
However, it is kind of a drag to pull up the Way Too Early Bracketology effort from ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and fail to see the Golden Eagles in the field of 68.
In fact, Marquette’s not even First Four Out.
They’re waaaaaaaay down there in Next Four Out, somewhat hilariously one spot behind Texas A&M, the new home of former MU guard Duane Wilson.
This is no reason to get worked up, though. Marquette wasn’t in Lunardi’s field of 68 in his preseason bracketology on November 3rd last fall. On top of that, Indiana was a #4 seed, and Georgetown was a #11 seed, and both ended up missing the tourney and firing their coaches.
There are six Big East teams in the field, however. Villanova (#2), Butler (#5), Seton Hall (#6), Xavier (#7), Creighton (#9), and Providence (#11) are the six, with the Friars getting assigned a First Four game against San Diego State. Marquette slots as the 7th team in the league in this particular organization with no other squads coming in between MU and PC.
Arizona, Kansas, Florida, and Louisville are the #1 seeds in Lunardi’s estimation, and he expects the ACC to lead the way with eight teams in the field. That sure is a far cry from Jon Rothstein’s familiar refrain of anything less than 11 teams being an unjust decision over the past season.
Marquette will get a jumpstart on building their non-conference profile in November when they go to the Maui Invitational. They’ll get a chance to play Wichita State (#3), Michigan (#4), and Notre Dame (#5) as part of that event. Marquette will visit Wisconsin in December, and the Badgers slot in as a #8 seed here. Wisconsin and Michigan are two of the seven Big Ten teams in the field, and with the expectation that MU will play a Gavitt Tipoff Game next season, hopefully it comes against one of the other five. It seems possible, as that five-pack doesn’t include Iowa, MU’s previous Gavitt Games opponent.
You can check out Lunardi’s full bracket right here.