In case you hadn’t heard, Marquette women’s basketball returns five junior starters from last year’s team that won a Big East regular season title and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.
As you could expect, big things are expected from the 2018-19 iteration of Carolyn Kieger’s team, and BOY HOWDY, let me tell you, there is no better proof of that than the newly announced 2018-19 non-conference schedule.
There are FIVE 2018 NCAA tournament teams on the slate for the Golden Eagles, including BOTH teams from the 2018 National Championship game. Yep, that’s right. Marquette will take an early December trip down to Starkville to challenge Mississippi State before hosting Notre Dame, the reigning national champions, as the last game before Big East play starts.
In addition to those two, Marquette will open the season at home against South Dakota State, who lost to Villanova in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Michigan comes to the McGuire Center to kick off of the month of December after edging the Golden Eagles in Ann Arbor and reaching the 2nd round of the tourney a year ago. The fifth and final NCAA tournament squad on the slate comes in the form of Marquette’s yearly game against Green Bay. The Phoenix have won four straight Horizon League tournaments and (this is not a typo) 20 straight HL regular season titles.
In addition to all of that wildness, Marquette will also be participating in the Preseason WNIT. They’ll kick off that tournament against Montana State on November 9th. MU is guaranteed to play three games as part of the event, with a fourth contest possible if they reach the championship game. For a deeper explanation of how all of this works, please refer back to our article on the announcement of MU’s participation.
While this should be a schedule that challenges the Golden Eagles and both prepares them for Big East play and sets them up nicely in terms of the NCAA tournament selection committee, it is low on road games. In addition to the trip to Mississippi State, MU makes just one other guaranteed road trip: ever so slightly south to visit Northwestern. If Marquette reaches the semifinals of the Preseason WNIT, it appears that they will play a road game there, as the official schedule press release calls it “likely.” Miami is the probable favorite to come out of that side of the bracket, and the Hurricanes have been a perennial NCAA tournament team during this decade under head coach Katie Meier.
Here’s the full non-conference schedule, although possible WNIT games past the first round are not listed due to the tomfoolery of what happens if you lose your first round game.
2018-19 Women’s Basketball Non-Conference Schedule
|Tue., Nov. 6||South Dakota State|
|Fri., Nov. 9||Montana State (Preseason WNIT)|
|Sat., Nov. 24||Illinois-Chicago|
|Wed., Nov. 28||Milwaukee|
|Sun., Dec. 2||Michigan|
|Thurs., Dec. 6||at Mississippi State|
|Sun., Dec. 9||at Northwestern|
|Sat., Dec. 15||Green Bay|
|Mon., Dec. 17||Binghamton|
|Sat., Dec. 22||Notre Dame|