The Basketball Tournament, a 64 team single elimination, winner-take-all event, announced the bracket for this year’s field on Tuesday, and Golden Eagles, the squad of Marquette alumni, earned a #1 seed in the Midwest Region.
That’s a bit of a jump from last year, when Golden Eagles had the #6 seed in the Midwest. They advanced to the Elite Eight, though, and bring back every major contributor to that squad, including Dwight Buycks, who averaged over 24 points per game on his way to inclusion on the All-Tournament Team. Thus, you can see how TBT’s brain trust has tabbed Golden Eagles as the favorite in the region.
They’ll play #16 seed Midwest Dream Squad in the first round. That game will be on Saturday, July 16, and is scheduled to start at 7:30pm Central time. It will take place on the campus of Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, as the school made a pitch to host the opening two rounds after their alumni team, Always A Brave, beat Golden Eagles to advance to the Final Four last year. AAB is the #3 seed in the region, and with a home crowd behind them, they have to be favored to make it to the Sweet 16 this year.
If Golden Eagles continue to advance, their likely path would hsve them facing a Rick Majerus inspired team of Saint Louis alums in the second round, the Kansas State alumni in the Sweet 16, and the Ohio State alumni in the regional final. It is not clear whether or not Greg Oden will be playing for Scarlet & Gray, but they’ll be a tough team even without him.