Okay, okay. Let’s all take a deep breath after Wednesday night’s loss to Butler, and take a peek at where Marquette is sitting in the various bracket projections from around the internet. Please note: most of these were updated after the Villanova loss but before the Butler loss. Take that into account when you’re reading this.
SB Nation (1/30): In a weird twist of fate, Marquette changed seed lines from last week in Chris Dobbertean’s bracket, but they still have the same first round opponent. MU drops to a #10 seed this time around, but because Alabama moved up to a #7 seed, the two teams are paired off in the first around again. This game lines up in Charlotte, as it’s paired with #2 Duke for a likely second round opponent. Dobbertean has six other Big East teams in the field: Villanova (#1), Xavier (#2), Seton Hall (#5), Providence (#9), Creighton (#9), and Butler (#10), with the Bulldogs coming in exactly one spot ahead of Marquette.
ESPN (2/1): Joe Lunardi is Mr. On The Ball, as his bracket takes Wednesday night’s loss to Butler into account. He has Marquette as the very last team avoiding Dayton, which means they’re a #11 seed. That gives them a first round game against #6 Miami in Pittsburgh. The winner there would advance to a second round game against either #3 Cincinnati or #14 Northeastern. As will likely be the case all the way down here, there are six more Big East teams in this bracket: Villanova (#1), Xavier (#2), Seton Hall (#5), Creighton (#6), Butler (#8), and Providence (#10).
CBS (1/29): As of Monday morning, Marquette was marked as a #11 seed in Jerry Palm’s bracket. That gives them a first round game against #6 Arizona State in Dallas, with the winner moving on to face either #3 Tennessee or #14 Belmont. According to the line-by-line listing on the site, Marquette is actually the last of the 11 seeds, but for whatever reason, Palm has Kansas State and Virginia Tech heading to Dayton instead of the Golden Eagles. Six more Big East teams in the field, of course: Villanova (#1), Xavier (#2), Seton Hall (#8), Creighton (#8), Butler (#9), and Providence (#10).
Sports Illustrated (1/29): Still not thrilled with Sports Illustrated unsearchable bracket image, guys. Marquette is a #10 seed here, earning a first round game against #7 seed Louisville. That is the same game as last week, and it is still paired with #2 Kansas. We can tell that this is not the same image as last week, though, as three of the other six Big East teams is different from last week: Villanova (#1), Xavier (#2), Seton Hall (#6), Creighton (#6), Butler (#8), and Providence (#10).
NBC Sports (1/29): There’s an NCAA selection committee rule against creating regular season rematches in the first round of the NCAA tournament. There is not, however, a rule preventing NCAA tournament rematches the following year. Thus, Dave Ommen has matched up Marquette with South Carolina in a First Four game. That game would be between two #11 seeds, and the winner of that game in Dayton would advance to a game in Nashville against #6 seed Wichita State. I’m not sure how the “no rematches” rule applies here, as it’s possible that Wichita State could end up with a regular season rematch in their first round game if Marquette were to win. The Golden Eagles are three spots clear of the cutline in this projection, and there are six other Big East teams in the field: Villanova (#1), Xavier (#2), Seton Hall (#6), Creighton (#7), Providence (#9), and Butler (#10).
Sporting News (1/31): Ryan Fagan has Marquette out of the tournament, and that was before the Golden Eagles lost to Butler on Wednesday night. At least as of the time that his projection was published, he had the Golden Eagles as the very first team outside the 68 team field. To give you an idea of the competition for a spot in Fagan’s mind, Syracuse, South Carolina, Western Kentucky, and Missouri are the teams playing in Dayton, and Virginia Tech, Boise State, and SMU are the next three teams after MU. There are just six Big East teams in his projection: Villanova (#1), Xavier (#2), Seton Hall (#5), Creighton (#8), Butler (#9), and Providence (#11), with the Friars getting the last bye out of Dayton.
Bracket Matrix (1/31, 9:46pm): Marquette appears in 89 of the 106 brackets that the Matrix is tracking in the most recent update. In the brackets that have the Golden Eagles included, they have an average seed of 10.79, which is good enough to give them a #11 seed in the rundown, but not good enough to keep them out of Dayton. They sit three spots clear of the cutline, and would be joined in Ohio by Syracuse, SMU, and Boise State. A #11 seed means a matchup with a #6 seed if Marquette was to win in Dayton, and that would be against a group of Wichita State, Rhode Island, Creighton, and Miami. There are six other Big East teams in the Matrix compilation projection: Villanova (#1), Xavier (#2), Seton Hall (#5), Creighton (#6), Butler (#9), and Providence (#10).