"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

Sunday, March 04, 2018

The Most Bubbly Bubble Team to Ever Bubble

We'll make this summary quick, because Joe put together a great viewing guide. We talk Creighton and senior day, what our tournament fate looks like, how #mubb will play in the Big East tournament and then analyze who we want to win and/or lose for MU to get in. #noredforOwen makes an appearance as well. Enjoy!

Note: This rooting guide did not take into account small RPI points, strength of schedule boosts and other metrics. So, there may be some slight inaccuracies for that reason. This is simply bubble teams you want to lose and rooting against potential bid thieves.


It is alarming how close this “power conference” league is to being a one-bid league. Arizona is the only team not sweating Selection Sunday (now, the FBI is another story).

Root for: Arizona. Arizona State is also probably in, but I’d advise them to not lose early and make it interesting. Marquette fans, you’d much prefer Arizona to win this tournament. You are also rooting for Oregon State, not to win, but to pick off a couple bubble teams.

Root against: Washington, USC, UCLA and Utah. What’s weird is that USC, UCLA, and Utah are the 2, 3, and 4 seeds, respectively. So, the odds are at least a couple of this teams will pad their resumes enough to feel safe. Oregon State can do Marquette a big favor by picking off Washington in the 7-10 game and then USC.


While the SEC may not have a team get a top two NCAA seed, it has quite a few teams that are comfortably in and Marquette fans should feel okay with winning  the SEC tournament.

Root for: Tennessee, Auburn, Florida, Arkansas, Texas A&M to win it. Root for LSU to pull a couple upsets then go down. LSU would be a bid thief if it wins the whole thing.

Root against: Mississippi State, Alabama. Pull for LSU to take down Mississippi State in the 7-10 game. Alabama may be in regardless, but having the Tide go down to A&M wouldn’t be a bad result. Even though he’s not playing, rooting for a team with Duane Wilson on it is always easy for Marquette fans.


This should be easy for Marquette fans, because there are some teams in here that Marquette would root against no matter what.

Root for: The top seeds, just to avoid a bid thief. Duke and North Carolina are fine. Even if you don’t like Virginia, the Cavs winning is also a positive result. Root for Pitt to get an upset or two, just because it would be hilarious.

Root against: Syracuse, Notre Dame, Louisville. Again, these are all teams you’d probably root against anyway. Notre Dame is definitely an interesting case for the committee due to how good the Irish have been when healthy. However, the Irish resume is less than ideal. A first round exit to Pitt would be the nail in the coffin for the Irish. Syracuse losing to 14 seed Wake would be a great result for Marquette. Louisville has Florida State in an 8-9 game. The Cardinals may be in either way, but an early Louisville exit is certainly not a bad thing as far as Marquette is concerned.

Big 12

The Big 12 is a deep league and should definitely have seven or eight teams in. Marquette, though, is obviously rooting for seven instead of eight.

Root for: Kansas winning this thing in KC is a regular occurrence, and that would be fine with us. Texas Tech or West Virginia would also be acceptable. If you’re looking at it from a Big East perspective, an early Kansas exit may increase the likelihood of Xavier and Villanova both getting 1 seeds, but we’re just talking Marquette things here.

Root against: Lots of bubble teams: Baylor, Kansas State, Texas, and maybe even Oklahoma are sweating right now. Texas losing to Iowa State would be a disaster for the ‘Horns. I know we don’t like rooting for ISU, but suck it up and do it just this once. (Although, I feel for Texas, considering Andrew Jones is battling cancer. For that reason, I’d like to see Texas dance, not at Marquette’s expense, but the Longhorns are easy to like.) Oklahoma is still probably in, but losing to Oklahoma State would be bad for the Sooners. I am on the record that, if Marquette has to go to Dayton, let’s get nuts and play the Sooners. Trae Young vs. MU’s shooters would be wild, like a 115-113 final. But for these purposes, root for Oklahoma State to take down OU before losing to Kansas. I’m pretty sure OSU is out, but let’s not get any more teams in the bubble discussion.

Big Ten

Oh wait, they’re done. Bubble teams Penn State and Nebraska are biting their nails for a week.


Loyola Chicago winning the MVC on Sunday was a nice result for Marquette, as it guarantees Loyola Chicago won’t enter the at-large discussion. Even if MU may have a better resume, more teams to talk about is bad.

Wichita State is definitely the team you want in the American, but Houston or (grits teeth) Cincinnati would also be fine because they’re both locks. No one else in the American is acceptable. Temple scares me a little as a team talented enough to run through the AAC. And I don’t care how bad they are, UConn has done this crap before. So, beware.

In the Mountain West, Nevada is critical. The Wolfpack is a lock to make the dance. Boise State is on the wrong side of the bubble, and no one else in the MWC is close. I’m not sure Boise State can play its way to an at-large. Let’s keep this simple: Go Nevada!

As always, the WCC must be Gonzaga or Saint Mary’s. They’re both comfortably in the field, especially Gonzaga. So, root for the Zags, settle for Saint Mary’s. Any other result is bad.

In the Atlantic 10, pull hard for Rhode Island. St. Bonaventure is a bubble team that has a very good shot at being in. So, the Bonnies winning is something you could stomach I suppose, but seeing them go down early and sweat is a more preferable result. No one else in the Atlantic 10 is close to an at-large. Again, we’ll keep it simple: Pull for the Rams.

Finally, our old home of Conference USA. Middle Tennessee is the one you want here. Western Kentucky and Old Dominion have nice records but probably aren’t playing their way to an at-large bid. Similar to Loyola Chicago before Sunday, the Blue Raiders should be in the field but may be out with an early exit. The possibility that they could be added to the at-large field is not something Marquette wants. Fewer teams in the at-large discussion is better, so go Middle Tennessee!

Finally, the most important team in the rooting guide: MARQUETTE! Your Golden Eagles could make this very easy with a deep run at MSG. They have only reached the Big East semifinals twice since joining the league, and they’ve only won more than one game three times. Marquette has been one-and-done five times in Big East Tournament history. So, Marquette is due, right? Here’s to hoping for a run to the Big East title game, which means we just wrote all this for nothing!
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