Hey, welcome to February, everyone. More importantly, for those of you in the Midwest, congratulations on surviving whatever the hell the past week’s worth of weather was.
Since it’s February, and because Marquette men’s basketball doesn’t have a game this weekend, it seems like a good time to wander around the interwebs and see what people have to say about where the Golden Eagles are shaping up in terms of bracketology. Let’s get a few basic facts about Marquette right now out of the way:
NET Ranking: #18
KenPom.com Ranking: #23
With that in your mind, let’s get things started with our overlords’ look at the NCAA tournament bracket....
SB Nation (2/1): Resident bracketologist Chris Dobbertean has Marquette as....... [drumroll] a #2 seed in his most recent bracket. YES, REALLY. They’re headed to Des Moines for the first round, and he doesn’t have a fully displayed and set out bracket to know exactly what that means for the first round opponent, but a #2 seed means a #15, which right now would be some collection of Loyola-Chicago, Northern Kentucky, UC-Irvine, and Bucknell. This also puts Marquette into the Midwest region, which, if the Golden Eagles were to advance to the Sweet 16, would mean games in Kansas City. MU is the final two seed for Dobbertean, as he shifted them above Kansas for this update. The Big East is represented by Villanova (#5), St. John’s (#10), and Seton Hall (#10), while Butler is the fourth team out of the bracket and Creighton is sixth out.
ESPN (2/1): Joe Lunardi has Marquette as a #3 seed and headed to Tulsa to play #14 seed Jacksonville State in the first round. That sets MU up with a potential second round game against either #6 Mississippi State or the winner of a #11 seed First Four game between Arizona State and Indiana. Here, Marquette ends up in the South Region, which is being held in Louisville this year. That’s actually closer to Milwaukee than Kansas City, so I think that would end up as the preferred location for the Golden Eagles. There are three more Big East teams in Lunardi’s bracket: Villanova (#4), St. John’s (#11), and Seton Hall (#11, but in the First Four). Creighton and Butler earn “Next Four Out” status.
CBS (2/1): Hey, look. Another #2 seed designation for the Golden Eagles here. Jerry Palm has them headed to Des Moines to play Loyola-Chicago in the first round in the South Region. The theoretical second round game here would be against the winner of #7 Mississippi State and #10 TCU. Villanova (#5), St. John’s (#8), and Seton Hall (#11, in the First Four) round out the Big East’s level of participation, although Georgetown (!) turns up as the fourth team out of the field here.
NBC Sports (1/31): Dave Ommen has Marquette as a #3 seed in his bracket, and yet again, the Golden Eagles are the best team in the field from the Big East. MU shapes up for a first round game against North Texas in Des Moines here, and a theoretical second round game against the winner of #6 LSU vs a #11 seed First Four winner between VCU and Nebraska. These games are all in the South Region. Villanova tracks as a #4 seed here, followed by St. John’s (#11) and Seton Hall (#11). Butler, Creighton, and Providence all get “Next Four Out” status.
The Athletic (2/1) ($): This is Brian Bennett’s first crack at a bracket this year, and he has Marquette as a #3 seed. Can’t argue there. However, he has the Golden Eagles headed out to Salt Lake City for the first round, with #14 seed Old Dominion waiting on the other end of the court. This game is part of the East Region, which will play the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games in Washington, D.C. The #3 in the Midwest is Purdue and the #3 in the South is Kansas, so I guess Washington is better than getting shipped out to Anaheim. I’m not a huge fan of the Salt Lake City thing either, but I suspect that Brendan Bailey’s family might turn that into a whole thing if it shakes out that way. With this setup, MU would be looking at a potential second round game against either #6 Iowa or #11 Florida. The Big East gets three more teams into this field: Villanova (#5), St. John’s (#11), and Seton Hall (#11, in the First Four).
Sports Illustrated (1/31): Michael Beller’s bracket has Marquette in the South Region as the #3 seed. He doesn’t go as far as to do the opening round sites, so we don’t know where he would send MU to play #14 seed Texas State. This would turn into a potential second round game against either #6 seed Iowa or #11 seed Alabama. I am still getting over the trauma of the 2006 NCAA tournament, so I would prefer to not see Alabama. Villanova turns up as a #5 seed here, while St. John’s (#11) and Seton Hall (#11) are ever so just barely in the field and avoiding the First Four. Beller lists a “First Eight Out” which includes Butler, Providence, and Creighton.
Bracket Matrix (1/31): There are already 99 brackets in the Matrix at this point of the year. That’s bananas. In any case, Marquette turns up as a #3 seed here, alongside North Carolina, Houston, and Louisville. A #3 seed would mean a first round game against a #14 seed, and those are North Texas, Northern Kentucky, Texas State........... and South Dakota State. Let me be the first to tell you that I want absolutely nothing to do with facing Mike Daum in the first round of the tournament. I can’t help but think that putting SDSU as a #14 is a horrible mistake... since they’re currently sitting at #85 in KenPom. But that’s a worry for another time. MU is the top Big East squad, followed by Villanova (#5), St. John’s (#10), and Seton Hall (#11, last team in). Both Butler and Creighton turn up in the First Four Out.