Marquette Wire

BECKER: MUBB’s resume doesn’t reflect a 10 seed

Photo by Brian Georgeson

Photo by Brian Georgeson

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When the men’s NCAA Tournament bracket is revealed this Sunday there will no doubt be surprises. One of the biggest surprises could be what seed Marquette ends up with.

In Monday’s round of bracketology, the Golden Eagles are a 10 seed in both Joe Lunardi’s ESPN bracket and Jerry Palm’s CBS bracket. Lunardi’s bracket says Marquette is only three spots away from having to play in Dayton as a part of the “last four in.” Palm’s “bubble watch” blurb about Marquette says beating Seton Hall Thursday will move Marquette off the bubble.

Bracketmatrix compiles more than 100 projected brackets online, averages out the seeds and then ranks the teams in order of average seed. Through this system the Golden Eagles are ranked as the first 10 seed, right behind VCU and ahead of Michigan State.

So Marquette is a consensus 10 seed, right? It’s not quite that simple.

The Golden Eagles’ tournament resume doesn’t look like that of a 10 seed. In fact, it looks much better.

Along with Marquette on the 10 seed line is Michigan State, Providence and Seton Hall.

Steve Wojciechowski’s squad owns an 8-6 record against the RPI top 50. Three of those wins came on the road and they have just one “bad” loss, at RPI 130 St. John’s.

Michigan State has a 5-8 top 50 record and another win against No. 51 Northwestern, who could get back into the top 50. They have just one road win and just one “bad” loss, home to RPI 129 Northeastern. The Spartans have a worse loss than Marquette and three (or two) fewer top 50 wins.

Seton Hall is 4-6 against the top 50 with just one road win. The Pirates have the same “bad” loss as Marquette, at No. 130 St. John’s and the two teams split the season series. Though Seton Hall has another chance to beat Marquette, even that wouldn’t be enough to give them a better resume than the Golden Eagles.

Providence is 5-7 against the top 50 with just one road win. The Friars have a brutal three losses to sub-100 RPI teams including a pair of sub-200 losses at Boston College and at DePaul. Considering those three losses, Marquette has a better resume than Providence, even when you consider the Friars swept the season series.

Now let’s look at the 7 seeds.

South Carolina is 5-5 against the RPI top 50 with just one road win (at Georgia where Marquette also won). The Gamecocks have one “bad” loss at No. 108 Memphis. With three less top 50 wins than Marquette and a comparable bad loss, you can’t really say South Carolina has a better resume than the Golden Eagles.

Oklahoma State is 3-9 against the RPI top 50 with two road wins. The Cowboys have a rough loss at RPI 169 Texas. Considering Oklahoma State’s lack of top 50 wins despite having plenty of opportunities and having a worse loss than Marquette, the Golden Eagles clearly have a better resume.

Creighton is 5-4 against the top 50 with two road wins and no sub-100 losses. The Bluejays have a slightly better resume than Marquette, but the Golden Eagles make up a bit of ground by sweeping the season series.

Maryland is 5-3 against the top 50 with three road wins. They have no “bad” losses. The Terrapins haven’t played a strenuous schedule, but they’ve taken their chances well and haven’t slipped up. They are the only 7 seed with a better resume than Marquette.

The Golden Eagles’ resume simply doesn’t fit in with the teams on the 10 seed line, but it certainly fits with the group on the 7 seed line.

RPI top 50 wins are a silly way to measure things, but this is what the selection committee will see. If the committee takes KenPom numbers more seriously than in the past, it will only help Marquette. The argument against the Golden Eagles is four of their eight top 50 wins came against teams who had lost their star point guards for the season in Xavier and Creighton. However, both are still projected as tournament teams. The quality of those wins is already diminished, as neither are top 25 RPI teams anymore.

There’s no guarantee Marquette will be higher than a 10 seed, but don’t be surprised if they end up closer to a 7 than you thought before, especially if they add another top 50 win to their resume.

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