Coach Sendek announced last night the Sun Devils will host Marquette in November next year in Tempe.
There has been plenty of chatter over a few cold ones in a Sparky mug about trying to get better non-conference teams into Wells Fargo Arena, and a look below at these numbers screams this is a great step.
One thing to remember…not everyone from a major conference in the midwest wants to jump on a three-hour flight and come west. It takes two to agree on a contract.
If you look at other Pac-12 schools, not too many teams from Big East (what used to be), ACC, SEC, Big Ten or Big 12 are heading west. Last year no ACC teams played at a Pac-12 school. Only one from the Big East did (DePaul at ASU). Two from the Big Ten did (Nebraska at Oregon and Minnesota at USC). Three from the SEC did (Florida at Arizona, Missouri at UCLA and Vanderbilt at Oregon).
Props to Marquette for doing just that next year.
The Sun Devils will return the trip in 2014-15.
What makes the Marquette game so special? Consider these digits…
—Marquette has had a top-30 RPI in six of the past eight seasons, including No. 12 this past season.
—Has advanced to Sweet Sixteen in each of the past three seasons, including an Elite Eight Appearance this past season.
—Has made eight straight NCAA Tournaments, the sixth-best current streak in the nation. Only Kansas (24), Duke (18), Michigan State (16), Gonzaga (15) and Wisconsin (15) have better current marks.
—Has posted eight straight 20-win seasons (while playing a very challenging non-conference schedule and competing in the Big East).
—Already they are in one preseason top-25 (Jason King of ESPN has them No. 15, below is the link)
—Here is their RPI and record breakdown the past eight seasons.
MARQUETTE PAST 8 SEASONS: RPI/OVERALL RECORD