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Ranking Big East Schedules

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Andy Katz is going through each conference in Division I basketball and rating the difficulty of the non-conference schedules put together by each school. He reviewed each school's opponents and then gave them a rating on a scale of one through ten for the level of difficulty presented. The toughest schedule belonged to St. John's, who had a 10/10 on the Katz-o-meter, while two schools scored a 1/10 and three more rated a 2/10.

About Villanova, he wrote:

VILLANOVA

Toughest: 76 Classic (Nov. 24-27), vs. Missouri in NYC (Dec. 6), at Temple (Dec. 10)
Next-toughest: at Saint Joseph’s (Dec. 17)
The rest: Monmouth (Nov. 11), La Salle (Nov. 15), Delaware (Nov. 18), Penn (Dec. 3), Boston U. (Dec. 13), American (Dec. 22)
Toughness scale (1-10): 3 -- The Wildcats have a tough game against Missouri on a neutral court that will be much more advantageous for Villanova. The Big Five games are always grueling, but the strength of schedule will need a boost from the 76 Classic. After dispatching of UC Riverside, the Cats should hope to play A-10 sleeper Saint Louis in the second round and co-MWC favorite New Mexico in a potential final. Do that and the strength of schedule will jump a bit.

Based on Katz' ratings, it is possible to construct a ranking of the non-conference schedules of Big East schools. Relatively, Villanova ranks in the third quartile of the league, but just barely. Scheduling could be weaker, but it certainly doesn't match the ambitious non-conference slates put together by St. Johns and Louisville. It is not hard to imagine why Louisville is the most profitable college basketball program when they work to schedule quality opponents, even in the non-league season.

The full rankings follow:

1. St. Johns - 10/10

2. Louisville - 9/10

3. Marquette - 6/10

3. Notre Dame - 6/10

3. West Virginia - 6/10

3. Georgetown - 6/10

7. South Florida - 5/10

7. Rutgers - 5/10

9. Syracuse - 4/10

9. Providence - 4/10

11. Villanova - 3/10

12. Cincinnati - 2/10

12. Seton Hall - 2/10

12. DePaul - 2/10

15. Pittsburgh - 1/10

15. Connecticut - 1/10