"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, February 25, 2018

The red flashing light? Its the "not gonna make the tournament" warning light, and it's just gone into overdrive

Not even sure where to start with this post, it was not good before now with a loss to DePaul it is likely over. So we are going to talk about what went wrong in Chicago and what was Wojo thinking. After we go through all the woulda, coulda, shouldas, we turn to the impact this loss has on a potential NCAA bid. We then talk about the next week and whether or not Marquette can win both games to even give them a shot at a tournament bid. We then talk about our favorite memories from the BC since this will be the last regular season game before moving to the new arena. Lastly we spend some time talking about the reports this week regarding bag dropping and cheating by various programs from the vantage point of Marquette. It was not great, but still....Enjoy! Download this episode (right click and save)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

SOR/Matrix Average: Marquette Only Winner Among 10 "Middle" Teams Wednesday

In the past I've argued a "Middle 25" ranking for college basketball would be much more interesting than the Top 25, since what we really want to identify pre-tournament is the 25 teams fighting for the last 10 spots in the tournament.

The "Middle 25" below were those teams based on me averaging the Strength of Record ESPN argues is the best analytic indicator (a measure of how likely the 25th best team in the country would have been to match the team's record) and the cumulative wisdom of the bracket matrix. I grade last night's performance with a B, C or D letter grade (there were no earth-shattering A or F grades last night) to indicated if a team could have moved up or down based on last night's performance.

SOR/ Matrixup to 10 of 25 get bidsCONFRecordWed GmGrade for Wed or next game (kenpom ranks)
1Arizona State



Thur at #74 Oregon

2Saint Mary's



Thur hosts #295 Pepperdine

3FloridaSEC17-10UnchangedC - closer than expected loss at #15 Tennessee
4BaylorBig 1217-11Sat at #23 TCU; Lunardi 7th in middle
5St. Bona.A 1020-6UnchangedC - closer than expected 73-67 home win over #191 Duquesne
6AlabamaSEC17-10DownD - destroyed by 19 vs #12 Auburn
7MissouriSEC18-10Sat #25 Kentucky
8ProvidenceBig East17-10DownD - losing 56-47 with 13 min left vs. #38 Seton Hall before slick floor suspended
9LouisvilleACC18-9DownD - destroyed by Duke 82-56

Miss St.

Current Cutoff



Sat Hosts #80 South Carolina

11SyracuseACC18-9DownD - lost at home vs. #7 UNC
12NebraskaBig Ten21-9Hosts #27 Penn State
13UCLAPac-1219-8Thur at #60 Utah; lunardi 11th in middle
14MarylandBig Ten19-11Sat hosts #20 Michigan
15MarquetteBig East15-11UpB - bigger than expected win over #71 St. John's
16Boise StateMW21-6UpB - crushed #222 Colorado St 87-54 on road
17Penn StateBig Ten19-10DownD - upset loss vs. #24 Minnesota at home
18LSUSEC16-11Sat #71 Georgia
19USCPac-1219-9Upbigger than expected win at #112 Colorado
20WashingtonPac-1218-9Thur at #93 Stanford
21UtahPac-1217-9Thur hosts #53 UCLA
22GeorgiaSEC15-11DownD - bigger than expected loss at South Carolina 66-57
23Notre DameACC16-12Sat at #89 Wake Forest
24TempleAmerican15-12host #97 UCF
25Western KentuckyCUSA20-7Hosts #316 Charlotte

A warning - there are 10 spots available for this team without any tournament spoilers, most notably if Middle Tennessee or Nevada were to but upset in the Conference USA or Mountain West Tournament than those two conferences would likely get two spots, but there really are not too many spoilers most years. Based on this measure, Marquette is the "5th team out" as the 15th best team among the Middle 25 vying for 10 spots.

The good news is that was going into the St. John's game, and that win was coupled with all four teams in action in the 6th to 15 spots (the "Middle 10" with Marquette) having bad nights - though Providence could still salvage their night with a comeback in the game they need to finish at Noon Thursday. So if ESPN's resume and/or the Bracket Matrix is close, Marquette's chances likely improved somewhat substantially last night in beating a St. John's team that was undefeated in February including the upsets of Villanova and Duke.

Alabama, Louisville, Syracuse and Providence having setbacks and Marquette's win also improving its standing against the three idle teams just in front of them - Nebraska, UCLA and Maryland - give plenty of potential for movement. We will see how many nudge Marquette into their brackets or at least the next teams' out.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Wait, playing a single small guard and a 2-3 zone worked? Why didn't we think of that???

We are absolutely going to take that win and run with it, but it left us with a lot of questions, some of them angry. First, at the time of recording we knew nothing of the prognosis for Markus Howard so instead of going all local news and having a Sunday night news teaser that made it sound like we know what was going on with him but it turned out we had no idea whatsoever......we aren't going to do that[rant off/]. So we talk about the injury and what we know as well as the possible impact it could have on the rest of the season. We also talk about why did it take Howard's pelvis exploding for Wojo to actually go to a line-up/defense that made sense for this team? Finally, we talk about the next week of basketball and whether #mubb can win two more. It's gonna be an interesting week to be sure, so listen up and get ready for a roller coaster. Enjoy! Download this episode (right click and save)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Have you ever seen the rain comin' down on a sunny day? #mubb edition

We went with a little CCR for the pod title because we are trying to unpack what we just experienced with the saddest 1-1 week that included a road win over a top 40 opponent. What do we make of the win against Seton Hall and then watch Wojo get out coached by Chris Mullen? I'm not saying we're having an existential crisis but we certainly aren't not having an existential crisis. We break down the two games and talk about what we learned and how it projects for the last 5 games of the regular season. We talk about what, if anything, Wojo actually does different over the next 5 games and how much we can actually look at positively from the season to date. We make some predictions on the Creighton game and how that may foretell the rest of the season. We close out by talking about an old friend, Duane Wilson, and the unfortunate end to his season. Maybe CCR was singing about the #mubb defense: 'Til forever, on it goes. Through the circle, fast and slow. I know! It can't stop, I wonder. Enjoy! Download this episode (right click and save)

Monday, February 05, 2018

It was a bad week, was it the worst one in the Wojo era?

Not much of a synopsis this week. We basically have a long therapy session about the state of the program under Wojo after a very bad week of basketball against Butler and Providence. It's a tough pod but hopefully one that helps us get our heads right. Enjoy Download this episode (right click and save)