What Needs to be Done?
Marquette’s last three games are all against conference rivals; (6th ranked Providence, 4th ranked Xavier, and 3rd ranked Creighton.) Of the three teams named, Marquette seems to have the toughest remaining schedule. Xavier has to play Butler, Marquette and DePaul. Creighton faces Villanova, Marquette, and St John’s, while Providence opponents include Marquette, DePaul, and St. John’s. As currently seeded, Providence ranks 6th right behind Marquette and are just one game back from the 5th spot. With their sweet schedule, if Providence manages to defeat Marquette this Saturday, the team could easily win out and take Marquette’s spot in the standings. This makes Saturday’s game a must win for Marquette to help seal their spot in the tournament. The game against 4th ranked Xavier, is also a must win for Marquette. Xavier’s next game is against 2nd seeded Butler, which is could go either way. Therefore, a win against Providence and well as a win against Xavier (with a loss to Butler) would help Marquette snatch the 4th spot in the conference, which would mean a possible 8th or 9th seed in the tourney. A win in the team’s last game against Creighton would help seal a higher seed as well as build the teams momentum for the tourney however, the two games before are much more important. Creighton still has to face 1st seeded Villanova, which is a likely loss. With that being said, Marquette should look to take things one game at a time and finish the season with at least a 19-11 (Overall) 10-8 (Conference) record. Winning those two games at this point in the season gives Marquette the best opportunity to make the tourney and possibly make some noise.
Marquette’s lack of consistency has some fans believing they will not finish the season strong and miss the tourney. However, Marquette has not been to the NCAA tournament since the year 2013. The Golden Eagles have proven they can compete with any team in the nation on any given night. With a chance to make the NCAA tourney the team should be highly motivated to handle their business and secure their spot. So hang on to your seats MUBB fans, we’ve got one heck of finish ahead of us!