Sunday, March 7, 2010

Conference Tournaments May Not Mean Much

It's been an up and down season for both Wisconsin and Marquette this season, however they are heading into their respective conference tournaments on slightly different paths. The Badgers have been coasting against some of the Big Ten's lesser opponents ever since a tough road loss a few ago to Minnesota, as evidenced by their 72-57 win at Illinois on Sunday. The Badgers should get the four seed in the Big Ten tournament this weekend, trailing Purdue, Michigan State, and Ohio State. They have, however, beat all three of those teams once this season so a Big Ten tournament title is not out of the question.

As for Marquette, their Big East tournament appearance is going to mean a lot more than just a fun little playoff at the end of the season. Marquette's next couple of days could definitely be the difference between whether or not they make the NCAA tournament. I think at this point they have a good enough record to qualify, but their heartbreaking loss to Notre Dame this last weekend coupled with a bad performance in the tournament could put them back on bubble watch. Still, they've been predicted to be as high as an eight seed so far, so that does bode well for them.

Either way, both tournaments should be pretty excited and I'm looking forward to the matchups. I don't see either team being affected too much by their tournament performance, unless one of them get knocked out in the first round, or if somehow Marquette is able to put a title run together. It won't really matter what the Badgers do, because the Big Ten title game is the last game before the committee announces their picks, and most of the brackets have been set by then.

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