"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

Monday, January 31, 2011

It's almost February, which means Bracketology preparations are beginning

Are they in? Are they out? Who are the last 4 in? Who are the last 4 out? What's their RPI? How about their SOS and their road wins? 68 teams....4 play in games? Soft bubble? S-Curve? Ah, February is just about in the air which means the last NFL game is about to be played and college basketball junkies take over for the next 8 weeks.

February is also the start of Bracketology Season, the time when math geeks, prognosticators, die hard fans and tv talking heads around the country predict who are "absolute locks", which teams have work to do and who is on the bubble.

For Marquette fans, we may just hear more of this talk then others in 2011 because we're certainly not a lock at this point but have a team, RPI, and schedule that will have the pundits talking about MU's chances.

So is MU in? Depends who you ask. Most will caveat their answers by saying "if the bids came out today". So let's take a look at the internets and see what folks are saying about our Warriors.

At the popular Bracket Matrix website, 50 bracket projections are used to aggregate a team's seed. In 43 of the 50, Marquette is considered a NCAA tournament team with an average seed of 10. The other 7 sites believe MU will be left out. The highest seed given to MU is an 8 with the lowest at 13 (also chosen as the last team in the field).

Then there are those sites the choose not to be part of the aggregation at Bracket Matrix. Dance Card is one such site that has a 96.5% accuracy in choosing teams in the tournament the last decade. If bids came out today, MU would be the 2nd team left out behind Cleveland State. Of course, bids aren't given out today which is the good news.

In the coming weeks and days, MU and many other teams will have a chance to impress the committee and improve their resume. The expansion to 68 teams will make things a tad bit more interesting to see what the committee does with those remaining three slots. Do they reward mid-majors or the blue blood conferences? Will the Big East get as many as 11 bids? Is defending national runner-up Butler on the outside looking in? Kansas State? Gonzaga? Baylor? UCLA? Will Memphis be passed over for the second straight year?

Should be a wild ride.

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