Marquette picked up two more wins last weekend, one each over Butler and Xavier, to move to 17-8 overall and 11-3 in Big East action. That would seem to solidify their NCAA tournament profile picture, but as we’ll get into in a minute, that’s not necessarily the case.
We’ll check in with a bracket from ESPN and Summitt Hoops, because those are the only two women’s basketball bracket projections that I know about. Do you know about another one that updates at least once a week? Shout it out in the comments, and we’ll take a peek at it next week.
ESPN (2/12): Charlie Creme has dipped the Golden Eagles one spot from last week, going from a #6 seed to a #7 seed. Like I mentioned at the top of the page, Marquette got two wins last week, and not only did they win both their games, they won both of them on the road. I can’t possibly see how this means that MU should drop by a line this week. However, without an explainer article from Creme to go along with his bracket, I do have to point out the possibility that this could be a case of Marquette getting boosted by a line last week for procedural reasons, or possibly dropped for the same reasons this week. ANYWAY, this gives Marquette a first round game against #10 seed Purdue, the fourth team clear of the cutline, and a trip to Waco for the first round. That means there’s a likely second round matchup against the host and #2 seed Baylor. There are three other Big East teams in the bracket: DePaul (#5), Villanova (#7), and Creighton (#10). Creighton is just three spots clear from the cut line, and St. John’s turns up in Creme’s Next Four Out.
Summitt Hoops (2/13): As was the case last week, Russ Steinberg has Marquette as a #7 seed in this version of the bracket. Just like Creme’s bracket, that has MU facing off with a team in the last four out, but in this case, it’s #10 seed Buffalo. That game is slotted to take place in Austin, Texas, with the winner advancing to most likely take on #2 seed Texas. Buffalo is no slouch, by the way, as Steinberg points out that the Bulls have nine top 100 victories. For comparison purposes: Marquette is 4-7 against the RPI top 100 according to the most recent team sheet, while Buffalo is 8-2. The difference here is that Buffalo is 8-0 against 51-100, while Marquette is 3-6 against the top 50. The Big East has just two other teams in the bracket: Villanova (#5) and DePaul (#6). Creighton lands as the second team outside the field.
If you’ve been paying attention, then you know that Marquette’s very next game is quite important to the Golden Eagles’ tournament picture. MU hosts Villanova on Friday morning at 11:30am Central, and it’s very clear from both brackets featured here that a win over the Wildcats would be very beneficial. Of course, you can make the argument that beating Georgetown, the source of Marquette’s worst loss of the season, on Sunday afternoon is also a very big deal.