Bracketology 2014: Wildcats are climbing back up the bracket

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Every Wednesday until the second week of March, we will take a look at where Villanova is projected to land in the Tournament bracket by some major bracketologists.

Villanova has moved back up in the polls and has moved back up to a 2-seed in all but one projection this week. Last week, two bracketologists had the 'Cats as a 2-Seed, while the other two listed them among the 3s. The 'Cats have hit 26 wins before the Big East Tournament for the first time ever, and could still improve their seeding before March 16th, but with just two games remaining, that would require a Big East tournament run and perhaps another meeting with Creighton.

[Editor's Note: or, apparently, some losses by 1-Seeds like Syracuse]

The Wildcats remain at 4th in the RPI, holding steady from last week. The Wildcats moved up to 8th in the KenPom.com computer rankings, with the 9th-best offensive efficiency and the 20th-best defense in the nation.

On to the Bracketology . . . (ESPN and NBC updated on Monday, CBS and SB Nation were revised yesterday)

ESPN (Joe Lunardi) - 2 Seed, Buffalo, Midwest Region

Joe Lunardi has moved Villanova up to a 2-Seed in his Midwest Region this week, sliding them out of the preferred East Regional at MSG. Now the Wildcats would face Davidson in an all-Cats tourney opener. Either Massachusetts (7-Seed) or Cal (10-Seed) would also stand in the way of a Sweet 16 berth.

Wichita State's shockers are the 1-Seed in the region. Other top seeds in ESPN's midwest regional this week include Virginia (3-Seed), Michigan State (4-Seed) and Louisville (5-Seed).

CBS Sports (Jerry Palm) - 2 Seed, Raleigh, East Region

Palm kept Villanova in his East Region as a 2-Seed with an opening round meeting with Vermont in Raleigh. Either VCU (7-Seed) or Pittsburgh (10-Seed) will await the winner of that game.

Top seeds in Palm's East region include Syracuse (1-Seed), Michigan (3-Seed), Oklahoma (4-Seed), and UConn (5-Seed)

NBC Sports (Dave Ommen) - 3 Seed, Buffalo, South Region

Dave Ommen has kept the Wildcats down on the 3-line opening in Buffalo this week, but the 'Cats were moved from the more favorable MSG Regional to the South. This week's projections have them against S.F. Austin (14-Seed). The winner would face either UConn (6-Seed) or BYU (11-Seed) for a chance to advance to the Sweet 16.

Top seeds for Villanova in NBC's bracket include Florida (1-Seed), Michigan (2-Seed), and North Carolina (4-Seed).

SB Nation (Chris Dobbertean) - 2 Seed, Buffalo, Midwest Region

Dobber still has the Wildcats on the 2-Seed line, but followed Lunardi in shifting them from the East Region to the Midwest this week. Now they will line up to potentially face unbeaten Wichita State should they make it to the regional final. This bracket sets them up with an opening-round game in Buffalo against Vermont. The winner of that game would take on either VCU (7-Seed) or Colorado (10-Seed).

Other top seeds in Villanova's region include Wichita State (1-Seed), Michigan (3-Seed), and Iowa State (4-Seed).

Bracketology Around the Big East

The Big East took a spill this week in bracketology, dropping from a potential high of 6 bids to lows of just 3 getting in for half of the projections. They had just 4 bids in the other two projections, with Villanova, Creighton and Xavier being the likely bids, and Providence seemingly the next up.

Creighton took a drop down to the 3-line this week in every projection, while brackets have treated Providence and Xavier with a modicum of variability.

The schools are seeded as follows:

[2] ESPN - 3 Bids: (2) Villanova, (3) Creighton, (9) Xavier

CBS - 4 Bids: (2) Villanova, (3) Creighton, (11) Xavier, (11 - Play In) Providence

NBC - 3 Bids: (3) Villanova, (3) Creighton, (9) Xavier

SBN - 4 Bids: (2) Villanova, (3) Creighton, (10) Xavier, (11) Providence

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