Bracketology roundup: Marquette can improve on 5 seed with Big East tourney run
As the college basketball season heats up, FOX Sports Wisconsin will round up what experts are saying about the chances for Marquette to make the NCAA tournament in March. This is the ninth (and final) edition of the 2019 bracket roundup.
The Marquette Golden Eagles limped into the postseason.
After a four-game losing streak to close out the regular season, Marquette saw its stock drop in the AP poll, from No. 12 on Jan. 21 to 23rd in the latest poll, released Monday.
Experts that once inked Marquette as a three seed in the NCAA tournament just a few weeks ago have since pulled back.
The good news, though, is it appears Marquette has found its juju again. The Golden Eagles exorcized a few demons Thursday night, avenging a pair of regular-season losses to St. John’s with a dominant 86-54 win in the Big East quarterfinals.
So where are the experts placing Marquette in the big dance?
Six brackets from notable sites were updated Friday morning following Marquette’s win. In an odd coincidence (or possibly a mysterious case of Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V), five of the brackets (ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, CBS analyst Jerry Palm, Inside the Hall, USA Today and The Athletic’s Brian Bennett) gave the Golden Eagles a five seed and a matchup against 12-seed Murray State, winners of the Ohio Valley Conference.
That would be a tough draw. Murray State is led by point guard Ja Morant, who is averaging 24.6 points, 10 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game and is projected to be a top-three pick in the NBA draft this summer.
For what it’s worth, four of those brackets assigned Villanova a six seed. USA Today handed the Wildcats a seven.
And FOX Sports slotted Marquette as a six seed, going up against Ohio State.
Of course, Marquette isn’t finished yet. The Golden Eagles square off against Seton Hall in the Big East semifinals Friday night at 8 p.m. A win over the Pirates would set up a rematch against Villanova or Xavier for the conference title, a run that would get Marquette back on the good side of the selection committee and could creep back into that four- or three-seed discussion.
Either way, the Golden Eagles are primed for their second tournament appearance under head coach Steve Wojciechowski.
Selection Sunday, here we come.