"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

St. John's game huge, but NCAA talk is out there

The last thing this team can do is overlook St. John's, an underrated team with some quality talent. They have scored some good wins to date. Tomorrow night will be a tough game especially with some of the injuries to MU.

That being said, MU fans are quite excited by the start of this year's squad. The thought of the NCAA tournament crossed very few minds of MU fans just 6 weeks ago, but now the talk is out there and it includes the national pundits.

The key for MU is they must win the games left on their home schedule: St. John's, Providence, Georgetown and Pittsburgh. If they can do that, they are in solid shape to make an NCAA appearance. A stumble in one of those games means probably forcing a win at Rutgers and/or at Notre Dame which will not be easy. Of course, if MU is able to pull off a win at #4 Villanova or at Louisville, that would do wonders as well.

MU currently sits at 31 in the RPI. Traditionally the top 40 schools in the RPI make the NCAA tournament with some minor exceptions year to year. For example last year #39 Miami-OHIO was snubbed. For MU to retain a top 40 RPI it is critical to beat the teams ranked lower than MU at home (St. John's 105, Providence 66) and if they can knock off Georgetown (29) and Pitt (5) then the Warriors will sit pretty.

Road wins under the new RPI formula are a very valued commodity. They are worth 1.3 wins while a home win is worth .7 wins. As a result, a loss on the road is not as harmful (-.7) as a home loss (-1.3).

St. John's right now is the key. Must beat the Johnnies.

In the meantime, there are 12 sites out in cyberspace that have posted their projected brackets. Marquette finds itself in the field of 64 in all 12 of these brackets with an average seed of 9th.

To view the projected bracket breakdowns, click here.

On Milwaukee also has an excellent article today talking about MU's NCAA chances. Click here for more.

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