The Associated Press released their preseason top 25 for men’s college basketball on Monday afternoon! That’s fun! We’re getting closer to the start of the season that was supposed to start on Tuesday but instead won’t be starting until November 25th instead. Inching closer, that’s all that matters.
It should not be a surprise to you that Marquette men’s basketball is not ranked to start the 2020-21 season. The Golden Eagles had earned their way into the AP top 25 midway through Big East play last season, but by the time that the conference tournament had started, that ranking was long gone. Markus Howard won’t be putting on the blue and gold this year, so that’s an obvious step back from top 25 contention, too.
Thus, we move on to see what the AP top 25 looks like in terms of Marquette opponents.
We don’t have to go too far down the rankings to find the first team that we will see square off against the Golden Eagles. Villanova starts the year ranked #3 in the country, earning 1,501 points in the polling and 11 first place votes. Staying in the top 10, we find Wisconsin at #7 with 1,150 points. Creighton turns up at #11 with 922 points, the first team on the list to not break the 1,000 point barrier. UCLA is the final team on MU’s schedule inside the top 25, as they start the year off at #22 with 336 points.
Marquette will play all four of those teams before Christmas as part of the 10 game schedule that has already been announced. Wisconsin will visit on December 4th and MU will head out to California to play UCLA on December 11th. Creighton is the Big East opener on December 14th, while Villanova wraps up the 10 game cycle on December 23rd.
There are three teams that Marquette will see that received votes but missed out on the top 25. Providence earned nine points, UConn earned six points, and Seton Hall earned two. Those are all Big East foes for the Golden Eagles, but we’re still waiting to find out when Marquette will play both the Friars and the Huskies. They are not part of the group of four games that the league has set in place between now and Christmas. Seton Hall will come to Milwaukee for a game on December 17th to give Marquette three straight games against teams at least earning votes in the preseason poll.
Head coach Steve Wojciechowski and his charges are set to start the season on November 25th with a home game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The only thing we know about that game so far is that spectators will not be allowed to attend due to the still ongoing coronavirus pandemic. We don’t have a tip off time or a television broadcast outlet as of yet. I’m not sure what the hold up is at this point, although I’m sure the NCAA postponing the start of the season by two weeks didn’t help television schedulers out all that much.
You can check out the full top 25 poll right here.