Have you heard that Marquette men’s basketball moved up to #20 in the Associated Press poll this week? That seems pretty good.
We’re in mid-January, so if you combine that fact with MU’s top 25 poll positioning, it feels like a good time to start checking in on various bracketology efforts around the internet. Is it too early? I don’t think so, we’re more than halfway through the basketball season, things are starting to solidify.
Let’s get into it, shall we? We’ve got some good news to read.....
SB Nation (1/17): WE’RE COMIN’ IN HOT TO START! Chris Dobbertean has Marquette as a #4 seed, specifically as the #15 overall team in his bracket. That places MU in the Midwest Region with a first round game against #13 Seattle in Orlando. The second round game would be either #5 Miami or #12 Southern Miss, currently holding down the autobid out of the Sun Belt. As will almost be assuredly the case for the rest of the season, there are just four other Big East teams in the field: Xavier (#2), UConn (#3), Providence (#6), and Georgetown. No, just kidding, wanted to make sure you’re paying attention. The fourth one is Creighton (#9).
ESPN (1/17): Keeping the good vibes going, Joe Lunardi has Marquette as a #4 seed, again in the Midwest and again in Orlando. The matchup is #13 Marshall, who has the autobid coming out of... the Sun Belt, so clearly he’s using a different tiebreaker than Our Blogging Overlords. In any case, the second round contest would be either #5 Rutgers or the winner of a First Four game between Oklahoma and New Mexico. Your Big East representation: Xavier (#3), UConn (#3), Providence (#6), and Creighton (#8).
CBS Sports (1/16): Jerry Palm is a hater, at least relative to the first two entries on our list here. He’s dropped Marquette in as a #6 seed, and while MU is still in the Midwest Region, the first round game will be in Greensboro, North Carolina. The opponent? Still up in the air, as he assigned the #11 seed to a First Four game between #11 USC and #11 Maryland. Y’all wanna play Kevin Willard in an NCAA tournament game? The second round game would be against either #3 Virginia or #13 SIU-Edwardsville and the Fighting Brian Barones, who are currently in first place in the OVC. Your Big East representation: Xavier (#2), UConn (#3), and Providence (#6). Yes, that’s right, no Creighton here, and not even in the First Four Out.
The Athletic (1/13) ($): Just so we’re all clear, Brian Bennett published his most recent bracket back on Friday, so before the BLOOD WEEKEND that saw so many ranked teams lose, up to and including MU’s trip to Xavier. So, with that in mind, he has Marquette as a #4 seed, specifically as the very last #4 seed in the field. In this iteration, that sends the Golden Eagles to the West Region, and in this case a first round game in Albany, New York. Isn’t the pod system fun? Anyway, that brings with it a first round game against Utah Valley, the current autobid marker from the WAC. The second round would mean either #5 TCU or #12 Oral Roberts. Because I know you’re asking right now: Yes, Max Abmas is still at ORU. Your Big East representation: UConn (#2), Xavier (#4), Providence (#6), and Creighton (#9).
Fox Sports (1/17): The Big East’s television partner continues to refuse to behave like a normal media company, and so we are forced to merely read things on Twitter like some sort of commoner. Mike DeCourcy has Marquette as a #5 seed here, and because the universe likes echoes, that’s a first round game in the West Region against Oral Roberts. The second round game would be against either #4 Iowa State or #13 UC Irvine. Your Big East representation: Xavier (#3), UConn (#4), and Providence (#6). Once again, no Creighton.
Cracked Sidewalks (1/16): Apparently Alan Bykowski thinks he’s funny, because while he’s pretty much in line with everyone else with Marquette as a #4 seed.... he’s got the first round game in Orlando as part of the West Regional.... against #13 seed Dayton. I don’t want to play Dayton. The second round game would be either #5 TCU or #12 seed Kent State out of the MAC. Your Big East representation: UConn (#3), Xavier (#3), Providence (#7), and Creighton (#10).
Haslametrics (1/17): This is an algorithmic projection of the bracket if the season ended following Monday’s games, so there’s seeds, but no matchups and no region placing. Marquette slots in as a #5 seed even though they’re currently #13 in the Haslametric ratings. Honestly, I appreciate that there’s a difference between the ratings and the seeding. The other #5s are Saint Mary’s, Florida Atlantic, and Miami, while the 12 seeds are currently Oral Roberts, Kent State, Sam Houston, and one of the First Four winners, either Wisconsin or Maryland. You can tell the algorithm is just pumping this out because 1) one of those two Big Ten teams is getting moved out of there if that’s how the Selection Committee landed with the seed order and 2) Marquette’s getting moved off the game that would draw that First Four winner because of the potential rematch with the Badgers. Your Big East representation: Xavier (#2), UConn (#3), and Providence (#6). Creighton comes in as the #2 team outside the field.
T-Rank (1/17): Much like Haslametrics, this is just what the computer says that the field would be if the season ended with the conclusion of Monday’s games. As such, that places Marquette as the second best #5 seed. That’s behind Florida Atlantic, but ahead of Rutgers Scarlet Knights and New Mexico in the group. Those seeds get matched up with the #12s for a first round game, and that crew currently has Kent State, Oral Roberts, Marshall taking up three of the spots. The fourth would, by the way this is laid out, go to a First Four winner, and right now that has Memphis and three Big Ten teams: Northwestern, Maryland, and Ohio State. Making this not easier: Wisconsin and Penn State have the last two byes into the full field. I’m glad I’m not on the selection committee and not in danger of having to try to hash this out. Your Big East representation: UConn (#2), Xavier (#3), and Providence (#7). Creighton comes in in the Next Four Out, six spots outside the field.
Bracket Matrix (1/16): As always, the Bracket Matrix is compiling dozens of brackets and averaging all of them out to give you a wide range of opinions all smashed together. Very helpful in trying to figure out a nice average of what people are thinking. That does mean that it tends to run a little bit behind as you have to publish your bracket before the Matrix can capture it. The most recent update was on Monday, so keep that in mind. Marquette comes in as a #4 seed here while appearing in all 73 brackets, alongside Iowa State, Virginia, and Miami. #4 gets you a first round contest against a #13 seed, and those are currently slotted in as Iona (oooo, Rick Pitino!), Utah Valley, Marshall, and Liberty (no thank you, absolutely not). Your Big East representation: UConn (#2), Xavier (#3), Providence (#6), and Creighton (#11). The Bluejays get in on average here, but it’s worth noting that they only appear on 55 of the brackets currently in the Matrix.