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Your Marquette Men’s Basketball NET Rooting Guide: Week 11

You always have in mind that you want your non-conference opponents to win all of their games except the one they play against you. That way you’ll look good if you beat a great team, or if you lose an out-of-conference game you’ve lost to a great team. It doesn’t always work that way, actually never, but the hope lives on.

It’s that hope that prompts us to turn to Marquette’s non-conference schedule at this time of year to keep tabs on what opponents of MU are up to. After all, the Golden Eagles appear to be headed straight for the NCAA tournament right now. If that’s the case, then wins for all of MU’s non-Big East opponents will help Marquette in one way or another.

That’s what we’re doing here: letting you know when they’re all playing this week so you can tune in, or at least watch the scoreboard. Why don’t we pay attention to the Big East teams here? First, that’s what What To Watch is for, and second, all Big East teams playing each other are ultimately a zero-sum game for Marquette’s NET rating. If one conference team wins, the other loses, so that’s not particularly helpful for MU, is it?

If you’re curious as to what outcomes outside of MU’s non-conference opponents are most beneficial to the Golden Eagles, I’ll have that for you and Rooting Guide by T-Rank? This will only show you things two or three days in advance, but it gives you the advantage of opponents by opponents by opponents for Marquette.

We’ll be doing this weekly going forward, so it looks like this for the rest of this week. We will proceed in order of NET ratings from Monday morning….

Monday, January 16: in Michigan State (12-5, No. 42), 1:30 p.m. Central, Fox
Thursday, January 19: in Minnesota (7-8, #206), 6 p.m. Central, ESPN2
Sunday, January 22: v. Maryland (11-6, No. 52), 11 p.m. Central, FS1

Purdue starts the week on a three-game winning streak, a half-game lead over Rutgers in the Big Ten standings and a full game over Michigan State, and the Scarlet Knights are the only team to defeat the Boilermakers this season . The trip to Michigan State is a Quadrant 1 game and will definitely help dictate the top spot for the remainder of the season. Maryland is shaping up to be a Quadrant 2 game for them, and the trip to the Twin Cities to see the Gophers is pretty much smack in the middle of the Quadrant 3 section.

Tuesday, January 17: at Texas Tech (10-7, #65), 8 p.m. Central, ESPNU
Saturday, January 21: in Oklahoma (11-6, #44), 3 p.m. Central, ESPN2

The Bears have held off from their 0-3 start in the league for the past week, but it’s always a grind in the Big 12. Even winning a game in their league is a challenge, especially on the road, and Baylor has two of those on deck this week. The good news is that because the league is so tough, both competitions are Quadrant 1 games for them, and whatever the outcome, Marquette’s win over the Bears still looks pretty good. However, the Texas Tech game sits on the relative edge of the #75 cutoff for quadrant 1.

Tuesday, January 17: v. Tennessee (14-3, No. 2), 6 p.m. Central, ESPN2
Saturday, January 21: v. Florida (10-7, No. 48), 7:30 p.m. Central, SEC Network

The Bulldogs used to be one of the best stories of the year, and they’ve done a lot of work to make Marquette’s NET look pretty decent. But they’re only 1-5 in their last six games and as a result their NET has jumped 40 places from where they were undefeated this season. They have a great chance of picking up a big win against the Vols on Tuesday in a game that will definitely remain Quadrant 1 all season, and if they could at least get a Quadrant 2 win over the Gators that would be very good helpful for MU, not to mention MSU’s NCAA hopes at this point.

Tuesday, January 17: v. Penn State (12-5, No. 51), 7:30 p.m. Central, Big Ten Network
Saturday, January 21: in the Northwest (12-5, #59), 11 p.m. Central, Big Ten Network

The Badgers were 11-2 earlier this year and 3-0 in Big Ten play, but they’ve lost their last three games: in Illinois and Indiana, and a home game to Michigan State. Those are far from bad losses, but they also have the Badgers headed for a spot outside of the NCAA tournament. They get two games against two of the other three 3-3 teams in the Big Ten standings this week, and both rosters are roughly similar to them on the NET as well. If Tyler Wahl returns – he’s missed the last three games with an ankle injury – then they should be looking pretty good. Unless…..

Tuesday, January 17: v NC State (14-4, No. 29), 6 p.m. Central, ACC Network
Saturday, January 21: vs Syracuse (12-6, #114), 11 p.m. Central, ACC Network Extra

Well, the great thing about GT is that they clinched a win against Miami on January 4th, but they immediately threw away the advantage for their NET rankings by going down the road against a terrible team in their next game from Florida State. The FSU game was the first of three straight losses for the Yellow Jackets, and those two games aren’t looking good for them at home either. NC State is a Quadrant 1 game, albeit just by the cutoff in 30th place, while the Syracuse game lags in Q3.

Tuesday, January 17: v. Florida State (5-13, #228), 6 p.m. Central, ESPNU
Saturday, January 21: v. Boston College (8-10, #226), 1 p.m. Central, ACC Network Extra

None of Marquette’s ACC opponents are doing them any favors this season, with Notre Dame winning only in overtime at home to Georgia Tech in their last five games. In fact, that game is one of just two wins for the Irish since Marquette visited South Bend in December. As these are both home games this week they are both Quadrant 4 games for Notre Dame because those two opponents are not very good and needless to say it would be very good for MU if Mike Brey’s boys didn’t have those wins would screw up.

Radford Highlanders (10-9, #167)

Wednesday, January 18: at Campbell (7-11, #250), 6 p.m. Central, ESPN+
Saturday, January 21: vs. High Point (9-9, #278), 1 p.m. Central, ESPN+

Marquette’s first game of the season is also her top ranked buy opponent right now. The Highlanders have won three in a row and four of the last five to sit second in the Big South behind a 5-1 tie between Longwood and UNC Asheville. This week they have two games against what appears to be the bottom half of the league. So if they want to keep up, they have to win both. Both games are Quadrant 4 games because that is the nature of gaming in the Great South.

North Carolina Central Eagles (9-8, #194)

Saturday, January 21: v. Delaware State (1-15, #357), 3 p.m. Central, NCCUSN

Just one game for the Eagles this week as they have won four of their last five games and are on a two-game winning streak in the MEAC game. Delaware State is shaping up to be the worst team in its league, so while it’s a Quadrant 4 game for sure, it’s a game NC Central needs to get if they’re trying to stay the conference favorite.

Central Michigan Chippewas (7-10, #279)

Tuesday, January 17: v Akron (11-6, #118), 6 p.m. Central, ESPN+
Saturday, January 21: in Ohio (9-8, #142), 1 p.m. Central, ESPN+

The chips are 2-2 in MAC action, which happens to double as the entirety of their schedule since beating state rivals Directionless Michigan in Ann Arbor in late December. That win did their NET a huge favor, but the loss on the road to Eastern Michigan pretty much gave back all the ground they had gained. Akron appears to be a contender for the MAC, while Ohio are said to be a good team in the league but are currently struggling at 1-3 in league play so far. These will both be Quadrant 3 games for CMU, so both will be pretty notable wins for them if they can get them.

Chicago State Cougars (4-16, #294)

Apparently no one wanted to play Chicago State this week, so they have Monday off until next week. Such is the life of an independent.

LIU Sharks (2-15, #362)

Monday, January 16: vs. St. Francis (NY) (8-9, No. 349), ESPN3
Friday, January 20: v Stonehill (7-12, #307), NEC front row
Sunday, January 22: v. Central Connecticut State (4-15, #335), NEC Front Row

Hey, surprise, the team that changed coaches in the middle of the summer for no apparent reason other than that they really wanted to sign Rod Strickland, didn’t win a game against a Division 1 opponent this summer. According to, there’s currently a 4.3% chance they’ll go the rest of the season without a win, so yes, they’re not favored to win any of those three Quadrant 4 games despite all three being at home.

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