Marquette’s usually saddled as the ultimate bubble team, mostly because of their 15-10 overall record and lack of impressive road wins.
Shall we debunk those misconceptions?
Sure, the Golden Eagles – currently an 11 seed in our bracket projections, but not one of the last five teams in – have 10 losses, but that comes from playing the likes of Duke, Gonzaga, Wisconsin, Vandy, Pitt, Louisville, Notre Dame, UConn, Villanova and Georgetown. Five of those are Top 10 teams. Four are in the top 17. Only Gonzaga’s unranked.
The average margin of defeat in those 10 games? Five points. Bemoan Marquette’s losses if you like, but don’t say they can’t play, or aren’t among the nation’s 68 best teams. They are.
For added emphasis: They’ve beaten West Virginia, Notre Dame and Syracuse and will probably end up with 10 Big East wins as they close against the likes of St. John’s (tonight), Seton Hall (twice) and Providence.
As for those marquee road wins, the guys at Cracked Sidewalks offer some much-needed context:
Several MU cynics agreed with the appraisal of former basketball great Len Elmore toward the end of today’s loss to Georgetown that MUs inability to knock off a quality opponent on the road could hurt their chances Selection Sunday.
The problem with that logic is that all of MUs road losses have been to teams in the RPI Top 25, and if you eliminate every team that has yet to win at an RPI Top 25 this year, then you are only left with a 24 team tournament. Here are the only teams to accomplish what MU failed to do today:
3 wins at RPI top 25 – Pitt
2 wins at RPI top 25 – Florida, Syracuse, Gtown
1 win at RPI top 25 – No. 1 Ohio State and 19 other teams
0 wins at RPI top 25 – Marquette and 320 other teams
The point? Everyone loses on the road except for the truly elite teams. And even they sometimes struggle.
Marquette’s going dancing. The only question is which team they’ll upset as a lower seed
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