Early Thoughts On The Brackets For Wisconsin And Marquette
Throughout the week I felt Wisconsin would be a four seed going into the NCAA Tournament but taking in the entire body of work for Marquette it looked to me like the Golden Eagles would be in the 8/9 game. So I was a bit surprised to see Marquette as a number six but if there's one thing we know about the selection committee every year it's that they love teams that make noise in the Big East Tournament. Both Marquette and Notre Dame benefited from a good week in New York to earn six seeds.
The Badgers will face Wofford of the Southern Conference. The Terriers won the South Division of the conference with a 15-3 conference record and ended the season with a 13 game winning streak (including the conference tournament.) In the conference championship game Wofford used a shutdown defense to overcome 35% shooting on the way to a 56-51 win over Appalachian State. The Terriers can play solid defense and finished third in the conference in scoring defense and first in field goal percentage defense. That said, Wofford is a team that can play the type of defensive chess match that Wisconsin is used to.
If you didn't hear much about the Pac 10 this year you're not alone. Only two Pac 10 teams made the NCAA Tournament as once-proud programs UCLA and Arizona slipped into mediocrity. But don't think that means Marquette faces a pushover in Washington. The Huskies finished the year on a tear, winning seven straight to go from not being in the bubble argument to bubble team to automatic bid by winning the Pac 10 Tournament. The Huskies have a solid inside-outside duo in forward Quincy Poindexter and guard Isaiah Thomas. Marquette has played to the level of competition all year but this is not a game to take lightly despite Washington's conference affiliation.