With three returning starters, six returning players in total, and six brand new players on the roster, I don’t think anyone was particularly expecting Megan Duffy to tax her Marquette women’s basketball season by scheduling particularly hard in 2023-24.
As such, it’s not surprising to find out that there are just three teams in the Associated Press’ preseason top 25 on Marquette’s schedule this season, and two of them come by way of the Big East membership.
The lone non-conference team in the top 25 is Illinois, which comes in at #23 to start the year. That’s something of a good news/bad news situation for Marquette, On one hand, the Golden Eagles will get to face the Illini at home. The bad news is that this will be MU’s second game of the season, so the Golden Eagles will have to get accustomed to playing with each other pretty quickly if they want to pick up a ranked win. Then again, it’s pretty good news that no matter what, Illinois will still be ranked on the first Saturday of the regular season, right?
The two Big East teams in the top 25 shouldn’t be a surprise to you. Connecticut is #2, while Creighton is #22. The Huskies picked up the only first place vote that did not go to preseason #1 and reigning national champion LSU, while the Bluejays fell neatly in between USC at #21 and Illinois at #23.
We should also mention Villanova here. The Wildcats picked up one entire 25th place vote for one point in the polling. They’re one of four teams to get into the polling by way of a singular 25th place vote, so it will be interesting to see what happens to all of them after one week of basketball action.
Marquette starts the season with a matinee home game against UT Martin. Tipoff on that one is set for Noon Central time, and I presume that’s going to be a local school kids Field Trip Day of some sort.
You can check out the entire top 25 right here.