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Q&A with ESPN women’s bracketologist Charlie Creme

Allazia+Blockton+drives+the+lane+in+Marquette%27s+victory+against+DePaul+Sunday.
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Q&A with ESPN women’s bracketologist Charlie Creme

Allazia Blockton drives the lane in Marquette's victory against DePaul Sunday.

Allazia Blockton drives the lane in Marquette's victory against DePaul Sunday.

Photo by Austin Anderson

Allazia Blockton drives the lane in Marquette's victory against DePaul Sunday.

Photo by Austin Anderson

Photo by Austin Anderson

Allazia Blockton drives the lane in Marquette's victory against DePaul Sunday.

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With March rapidly approaching, the Marquette women’s basketball team is making a final push to be selected for their first NCAA Tournament under head coach Carolyn Kieger. The Wire caught up with ESPNW women’s college basketball bracketologist Charlie Creme Monday to discuss Marquette’s playoff potential.

Q: On Sunday, Marquette beat DePaul convincingly. How much does the win help their seeding?

Creme: They are still an eight seed. … When you are talking about these seeds it is only a matter of a couple of spots. If you are 31st on the list you are an eight, if you are 33rd you are a nine, so that is really what it was. So (Marquette) had fallen to 33rd and I have them back up to 31. The teams ahead of them did stuff that was pretty significant and other teams have fallen back, but not fallen back far enough for Marquette to leap over.

Q: What are some teams Marquette needs to look out for in order to move up?

Creme: The teams I have around them are just ahead of them: Drake, Arizona State, Temple.

Q: How important is it for Marquette to go deep in the BIG EAST tournament in order to have success in the NCAA tournament?

Creme: That is going to be a marker. They don’t want to go out early. By losing early in the (BIG EAST) Tournament, you don’t have a chance to improve your standing because you aren’t playing any more games, and with other teams playing they have a chance to do something that puts more positive marks onto their resume. It is important to just keep winning.

I would say this — if they get to the final or win the BIG EAST Tournament, given the probability of what other teams would likely do, I would think they would be moving higher more toward a seven.

Q: How do you think the selection committee judges the BIG EAST Conference?

Creme: This is somewhat of a misconception and part of it’s our fault. We talk about how many teams from a certain conference are going to get in or conference versus conference RPI. The committee, when they have conversations, they are voting on teams and that is the emphasis there.

They are looking at everyone’s schedule and your conference obviously plays into your schedule, so their not having a specific conversation about the BIG EAST. … What they will look at is, well, they beat DePaul twice. DePaul is a really good team. They lost to Providence. Providence is not a good team.

Q: What do you think the committee will judge Marquette on?

Creme: Well, they look at everything with every team and I know that sounds like a cop-out answer, but to be more specific what I will say is one of the things we have learned from these reveals, what I have gotten out of the committee, what I have been able to decipher, is that schedule and accomplished wins are big factors. If Marquette had a bunch of big non-conference wins, but was below .500 in the league, well you know there would be some give-and-take on those subjects. … Marquette’s win against Oregon State and their win against Arizona State, even though they were very early in the season, they loom pretty big.

A win at Oregon State, a road win like that, not many teams have a road win of that caliber, so that will bode very, very, very well. Their schedule strength is kind of average, in terms of non-conference. They played some dogs too and everybody does. I think Marquette scheduled pretty well with those two games out west and that tournament out west, they spent a lot of time out west.

The BIG EAST has given them the opportunity to play some other good teams: Creighton, DePaul. I guess those are the two tournament teams. Teams like Villanova, St. John’s, they are some reasonable opponents. Georgetown, too. Then there is some bad stuff. The Providence loss, as we said, not great. You want to keep your losses to sub 150 RPI to a minimum. Those are all some factors that will be discussed.

They have a couple of big non-conference wins, which is good. That is always something that is pointed to. They have done well in their league and they have beaten the first place team twice now, which DePaul is a top-20 RPI team, that bodes really well.

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