Make Your Case: Marquette WarriorsPosted by jstevrtc on March 6th, 2010
As part of our ongoing quest to provide you with the best college basketball coverage in the nation, we have enlisted the help of some of the finest team-specific bloggers, campus newspaper scribes, and beat writers on the planet to help us. With the NCAA Selection Show coming up on March 14th there are still several teams on the proverbial “bubble.” We figured it might be interesting to see what kind of nonpartisan arguments these folks could make for their team deserving a spot in the NCAA Tournament. We welcome any discussion of their arguments and praise or criticism of their reasoning in the comment section. If your team is on the bubble and you would like to submit something, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rob Lowe and Tim Blair from the Marquette basketball blog CrackedSidewalks.com now make the case for the Marquette Warriors, and also why they’ll go deep into March:
After Marquette’s convincing victory over Louisville earlier this week we think the Warriors are a lock for the NCAA tournament. Marquette is currently 5th in the Big East, 20-9 overall and 11-6 in conference with one game remaining. Honestly, we feel that Marquette is discussing “what” seed instead of “if” seed. We’re hoping for a 7, but realize an 8 or 9 might be more likely given the current body of work.
Marquette’s critics will point to the team’s modest RPI (low 40’s), SOS (50’s-60’s), and sub-500 record against RPI 50 opponents. In addition, more cynical critics will say that we lost at home to NC State, and we lost to DePaul. Fine… the Warriors have some flaws, but this is the “make your case” argument, so doesn’t almost every team have some warts?
However, you don’t want to play Marquette in the tourney. MU plays a style that involves winning the turnover battle and making a bunch of threes – and Buzz Williams deploys the personnel to pull that off. While MU is the 341st tallest team in Division 1 (or the 7th shortest team in the country, depending on your point of view) Buzz’ bunch is one of the nation’s top three-point shooting teams and protects the ball better than just about any other group. These strengths ensure that the Warriors are never out of any game. Realize that Marquette’s nine losses have come by a total of thirty-two points and they have yet to lose a game by more than single digits.
Also, Marquette is playing its best basketball right now. Winners in nine of their last 10, the Warriors are peaking at the right time. While Marquette struggled to close out games early in the season, all the team has done lately is win the games they needed to win. Their last set of games includes an NCAA record three consecutive road overtime victories and a win against an equally desperate team in Louisville.
Finally, and this is the most important for a Jesuit University, Jesus wants Marquette in the Sweet Sixteen. Just pray we’re not in your bracket.
[Ed. note: We know Marquette changed from Warriors to Golden Eagles. But we like Warriors better, and so do these guys. And we hear most of the students and alumni do, too. So that’s why Warriors is used here.]