Commentary

Why Marquette should land a bid

The Golden Eagles have several losses, but none against terrible teams

Originally Published: February 18, 2011
By Ian Gordon | ESPN Insider
Jimmy ButlerKim Klement/US PresswireJimmy Butler's Marquette Golden Eagles have 11 losses ... but 10 have been, well, acceptable.

You hear it over and over again this time of year: The only thing bubble teams do consistently is lose. They drop nail-biters at home. They get blown out on the road. While some teams are oh-so-close, others are straight-up disappointments. And come Selection Sunday, their double-digit losses put them squarely on the bubble.

But just because these teams have losing in common doesn't mean their losses are equal. While coaches rarely admit to the existence of a "good loss," some defeats are better -- or, in the context of the tournament selection process, look better -- than others. That's why we've decided to break down the bubble by losses. Because being in the RPI top 50 is one of our characteristics for a tournament team, we've marked losses to RPI top-50 opponents as acceptable. Defeats at the hands of teams ranked 150 or higher, on the other hand, are unacceptable. (Teams are ranked in the order of Joe Lunardi's S-Curve from Feb. 16.)