"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, April 16, 2019

We interupt your scheduled Sports Movie Bracket with this Breaking News

We are shocked to say the least. As reported all over the interwebs on Monday, April 15th, the Hauser brothers have announced their intention to transfer from Marquette. Instead of the general odds and ends plus the first rounds of the Sports Movie Bracket, we get together to talk about this program altering and unexpected news. https://scrambledeggs.podbean.com/mf/play/hrjvu9/scrambledeggs_edit_041519.mp3

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Something a bit different for CrackedSidewalks, we're doing a #ScrambledEggs Sports Movie Bracket

Welcome to the off season where we search for reasons to continue to be entertained. The Scrambled Eggs podcast has created the idea of a 76 "team" bracket to determine the ultimate sports movie to have ever have existed. We are going to debate the bracket match ups as part of our podcast and "determine" winners and losers. We'll also have a voting system through Google Forms you can access by following us on twitter (@mooof23 and/or @joemccann3). This will very likely take longer than a single podcast so we'll spread it across multiple episodes over the next couple of podcasts and we will of course also have updates around #mubb with each podcast. The movie bracket was generated via S-Curve which in turn was generated by 3 key metrics: IMDB ranking, Rotten Tomatoes Fan Ranking, and Domestic Box Office adjusted to 2019. The movies were then slotted into the 76 team bracket with movement so that sequels don't face each other until the 3rd round and with the last 24 movies in participating in a 12 game play-in bracket.

 Without further ado, below is the S-Curve:

 And here is the bracket itself:

 Enjoy the bracket! Podcast to come later.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Big East 2019-20 Non-Conference Schedules (So Far)

I put together a list on MUScoop today of what we know so far for the 2019-20 Big East Non-Conference Schedules. Feel free to tweet any updates I missed to @brewcity77 on Twitter so I can add them in and update this as the next couple months go on. I'll add a few thoughts after each one based on what we know.

Butler (6)

@ Baylor (Big East/Big 12)
@ Mississippi
vs Florida
vs Purdue (N)
Hall of Fame Classic (2 of Missouri, Oklahoma, Stanford)

This is a nice balanced start. The road games will be tough, but there isn't an overwhelming game on here. I'm assuming the Crossroads Classic continues. Butler seems like a good bet to get a Gavitt Game as they've only played in 2 so far, fewest of any Big East team.

Creighton (4)

vs Oklahoma (Big East/Big 12)
vs Nebraska
Las Vegas Invitational (2 of Iowa, Texas Tech, San Diego State)

Still a lot to flesh out, but both home high-majors are winnable & Vegas provides some good opportunities.

DePaul (3)

vs Texas Tech (Big East/Big 12)
vs Northwestern
@ Boston College

The Blue Demons don't have an exempt tournament yet, not sure if that will change. They are likely to play some of the local schools like UIC & NIU but I haven't seen anything concrete yet. Not a terrible start, but needs work.

Georgetown (5)

@ Oklahoma State (Big East/Big 12)
vs Syracuse
Empire Classic (2 of Cal, Duke, Texas)

A nice mix of quality opponents on here. The Big 12 Challenge game adds some quality & Georgetown seems likely to add a Gavitt Game. This looks like the best schedule so far under Ewing.

Marquette (5)

@ Kansas State (Big East/Big 12)
@ Wisconsin-Madison
Orlando Invitational (3 of Davidson, Fairfield, Harvard, Maryland, Temple, Texas A&M, USC)

 History would indicate MU will add a tourney quality buy game & at least one more high-major home game, either in the Gavitt Games or as a new home-and-home, quite possibly both. A home-and-home would help balance the schedule for this year & give a guaranteed away game opposite hosting UW-M in 2020.

Providence (7)

@ Massachusetts
@ Rhode Island
vs Texas (Big East/Big 12)
vs Boston College
Wooden Legacy (3 of Arizona, Charleston, Long Beach State, Penn, Pepperdine, UCF, Wake Forest)

This is a loaded slate & I love it. If Cooley's team takes a step up, they have a solid schedule with all winnable games. They could add a Gavitt Game but even without it have a solid non-con.

Seton Hall (7)

@ Iowa State (Big East/Big 12)
@ St. Louis
@ Rutgers
vs Maryland
Battle 4 Atlantis (3 of Alabama, Gonzaga, Iowa State, Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Southern Miss)

This is a meat-grinder. Three road games, a tough home game, & one of the toughest exempt tournaments. They don't need any more quality, but SHU has only played 2 Gavitt Games so they could be in line for another & I'm sure a second quality home game to draw fans would be appreciated, though that's a murderer's row away from home.

St. John's (5)

vs West Virginia (Big East/Big 12)
vs 2 of Central Connecticut State, Columbia, Rider, Vermont (Air Force Reserve Campus Games)
Air Force Reserve Tip-Off (2 of Arizona State, UMass, Virginia)

Is any school more afraid of travel than St. John's? Three home games in here & the two neutral site games are 125 miles from campus. Like to see 2-3 road or neutral site games added that aren't within a 2 hour drive of NYC.

Villanova (8)

@ Temple
@ St. Joseph's
vs Penn
vs La Salle
vs Kansas (Big East/Big 12)
Myrtle Beach Invitational (3 of Baylor, Coastal Carolina, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi State, Ohio, Tulane, Utah)

I love the Big 5. Such a cool concept & guarantees at least decent mid-major games. Add in Kansas at home & a tournament in which they'll likely be favored & this is a great schedule. Nova is another Gavitt candidate, having played just 3 games so far.

Xavier (6)

@ TCU (Big East/Big 12)
vs Cincinnati
vs Missouri
Charleston Classic (3 of Buffalo, UConn, Florida, Miami, Missouri State, St. Joseph's, Towson)

X is a strong Gavitt candidate, hopefully playing someone other than Wisconsin. This could probably use another home-and-home starting on the road or road Gavitt Game, but it's a solid schedule so far.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

The Next Buffalo

With Marquette's season done, the focus shifts to coaching changes, the transfer portal, & non-conference scheduling. Since Marquette was assigned Belmont as a campus game in the 2015 Legends Classic they have consistently followed that with one NCAA Tournament tested buy game on the schedule.

In 2016, it was Fresno State. The Bulldogs finished #98 at kenpom & 76 in the RPI, just one spot away from qualifying as a Quadrant 2 home game. In 2017 it was Vermont. The Catamounts finished #76 at kenpom & 60 in the RPI, good enough to qualify as a Quadrant 2 win. This past year it was Buffalo. The Bulls finished #22 at kenpom & #15 in the NET, making them just one of two teams that played away buy games & qualified as a Quadrant 1A home win, which made Buffalo one of the best wins you could possibly buy...assuming you won (ask West Virginia & Syracuse about that).

Here's what we know about Marquette's 2019-20 schedule so far:

  • Away vs Wisconsin-Madison
  • Away vs Kansas State
  • Neutral (x3) vs Davidson, Fairfield, Harvard, Maryland, Temple, Texas A&M (please, please, please), & USC
Most likely Marquette will host a Gavitt Game to help balance out the schedule and/or try to start another high major home-and-home series at Fiserv Forum. They will also likely want to get a quality buy game to add some shine to the home non-conference slate for season ticket holder interest. With that in mind, here are five teams (pending coaching changes & transfers) Marquette could line up to be next year's Buffalo.

1. Utah State: Put flashing lights on this one. Utah State earned the Mountain West autobid but would've been an at-large last year without it. They return most of that roster, including MWC Player of the Year Sam Merrill & NBA prospect Neemias Queta. With most of Nevada's roster graduating, the Aggies will be heavy MWC favorites next year. While this might seem like a big target for a buy game, it's no bigger than Buffalo was & comes from the same league as Fresno State.

2. East Tennessee State: When #3bidSoCon was trending, it was Wofford, UNC-Greensboro, & Furman that Twitter was talking about. Next year, it will likely be the Buccaneers. While the three teams above lose their best players, ETSU could return their entire rotation from a squad that went 13-5 in a quality league. Barring transfers or a coaching change, this will be one of the best buy game options in the country next year.

3. New Mexico State: Chris Jans had a top-40 NET team in the WAC this year & will likely have 5 senior starters next year. They lose two rotation players but will still be experienced & deep. The Aggies won 19 straight before falling to future Final Four team Auburn by 1 point in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. They should be even better next year.

4. Vermont: Next year's Vermont could be...Vermont. John Becker's team has won 20+ games 8 years running (11 if you count Mike Lonergan's last 3 years) & has finished top-100 at kenpom each of the last 3 years. They return 6 of their top 7 in terms of minutes from a NCAA team. More likely to be Quadrant 2 than 1, this will still be an excellent buy opponent.

5. Northeastern: They have to replace Vasa Pusica's scoring, but have 4 of their top-5 scorers back. The Huskies made the NCAA Tournament & should be favorites in the Colonial. They were just outside Quadrant 2 (NET #78) as a buy game last year but have a very good chance to improve on that next year.

Five More to Watch: Missouri State, UC Irvine, UT Arlington, Grand Canyon, Northern Kentucky