At 15-8 overall and 9-3 in Big East play, YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles women’s basketball squad is approaching lock status for the NCAA tournament. That is some pretty exciting stuff, as the Golden Eagles have not qualified for back-to-back NCAA tourneys since a run of four straight from 1997-2000.
Women’s basketball bracketology isn’t as big of an industry as it is for the men’s tournament, but we still have two variations: ESPN’s Charlie Creme and Summit Hoops’ Russ Steinberg. Let’s see what they have to say about the Golden Eagles.
ESPN (2/5): Charlie Creme has Marquette slotted as a #6 seed at the moment, which is a drop from his last bracket according to the small red down arrow next to their name. The women’s tournament is a little weird, as the top 16 seeds — #1-#4 in each region — host the first two rounds. With Marquette dropping to #6 this time around, it probably means whatever outside chance they had at hosting the tournament at the McGuire Center this season. Anyway, this has the Golden Eagles heading out to Los Angeles to play #11 seed Nebraska in the first round. As you might be able to guess, the destination means that #3 seed UCLA is the host for this pod, and the Marquette/Nebraska winner would get either the Bruins or #14 seed UNLV. There are three more Big East teams in the field: DePaul (#5), Villanova (#7), and Creighton (#10). The Bluejays are three spots away from Creme’s cutline for this 64 team event. That is one thing to keep in mind for the women’s tournament: the line between at-larges and automatic bids the rest of the way down the seed line is much higher than in the men’s tournament. You just don’t get a lot of mid-major champions that deserve single digit seeds like you do with the men’s field.
Summit Hoops (2/7): This iteration of the bracket isn’t as excited about the Golden Eagles. Steinberg has Marquette as a #7 seed and headed to Waco to play Miami in the first round. That’s a particularly interesting matchup, as it would pit MU head coach Carolyn Kieger against her long-time former boss, Miami head coach Katie Meier. A 7/10 game means a pod pairing with a #2 seed as the host, and in this case it’s Baylor. The Bears would be the favorite to advance to the second round, but #15 Harvard pulling the stunner wouldn’t be the weirdest thing to happen in recorded history. There’s only two other Big East teams in this field: Villanova (#5) and DePaul (#6).