Congratulations, Marquette men’s basketball fans. You are once again cheering for a nationally ranked basketball team.
The brand new Associated Press poll came out on Monday, and thanks to the Golden Eagles capping a run of six wins in their last seven games with a demolition of then-#19 Butler on Sunday afternoon, Marquette is now the #18 team in the country. They earned 425 points in this week’s poll, slotting them right between #17 Oregon with 497 points and the staying steady Bulldogs who are still #19 this week with 414 points.
It’s the first AP poll ranking for Marquette since the rankings that were released right before the 2019 Big East tournament. The Golden Eagles went into the conference tournament ranked #23 in the country, and after falling to Seton Hall in the semifinals, they dropped to one spot outside the top 25 for the final AP poll of last season.
Chris Murray of Nevada Sports Net in Reno is Marquette’s biggest supporter this week, shooting them all the way up to #12 in the country after not ranking them at all last week. A little surprising, maybe, but I’m not going to say no to it. No one put MU at #13, and then at least two AP voters had the Golden Eagles at every station between #14 and #25. The indomitable Ben Steele of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had Marquette at #19 in the country after ranking them #24 a week ago. Bruce Pascoe (Arizona Daily Star), Dave Preston (WTOP Radio, Washington, D.C.), Ken Weinman (105.7 The Fan, Baltimore, MD), and Chris Basnett (Lincoln Journal Star) are the four AP voters who have refused to vote for Marquette this week. For whatever it’s worth to you, those four have Butler at 20, 18, 20, and 16 on their ballots.
Maryland is the top ranked opponent on Marquette’s schedule this season in the new poll, staying steady at #9 this week. Seton Hall moved up two spots to #10 thanks to their big road win over Villanova on Saturday. The Wildcats themselves dropped out of the top 10, dipping five spots to #15. As mentioned earlier, Butler sits at #19 as I supposed there’s no shame in losing a road game to a quality team, even if your head coach tells his players to foul for no reason in particular when the game is already decided. Creighton is the final ranked team on the Golden Eagles’ slate this year, coming in at #23 this week, two spots down from the previous poll.
Down in the receiving votes department, Purdue is the only MU foe. They picked up 27 points to be the unofficial #31 team in the country this week.
Marquette has just one game between now and the next poll, and it’s a pretty big one. They’ll be on the road at The Finn to face #15 Villanova. The two teams are both currently tied for second place in the Big East at 7-4, and the Golden Eagles will be going for the season sweep of the Wildcats.