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Bracketology 2014: Big East gets Bigger

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.

Drew Hallowell

All of the brackets this week were updated on Monday, except for the SB Nation Bracket, which was most-recently revised yesterday. All four bracketologists have again agreed on Villanova's seeding this week, and all have them slated to openin Buffalo, New York, though disagreements still exist over their ultimate regional location and pairings.

The Wildcats are now ranked fifth by RPI, dropping two spots from this time last week. Over the last weekm the Wildcats have dropped to 8th in the computer rankings, with the 8th-best offensive efficiency and the 21st-best defense in the nation.

On to the Bracketology . . .

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

ESPN has the Wildcats listed as a 2-Seed in the East Region, which is headed up by the top-seeded Syracuse Orange. They would open the tournament against the University of Vermont in an opening match in Buffalo.

Other top seeds in the MSG regional include Iowa State (3-Seed), Cincinnati (4-Seed) and Iowa (5-Seed). In order to advance to New York City, the 'Cats will also need to get past the winner of UMass and Xavier.

CBS Sports (Jerry Palm) - 2 Seed, Buffalo, West Region

Palm has the Wildcats back up to a 2-Seed, playing in the West Region with an opening round meeting with Boston University in Buffalo. They would play the winner of UCLA (7-Seed) and SMU (10-Seed) in the third round if they advance.

Top seeds in Palm's West region include Wichita State (1-Seed), Duke (3-Seed), and Michigan (4-Seed). Also notable are the potential of meeting with Connecticut (6-Seed), Louisville (5-Seed) or UNC (8-Seed).

NBC Sports (Dave Ommen) - 2 Seed, Buffalo, East Region

Only a small shift this week for Villanova in Dave Ommen's projections. He kept the 'Cats lined up as a 2-Seed in Buffalo, but now they are playing the Vermont Catamounts in the 2 vs. 15 game. To book their ticket to the Sweet 16 at MSG, they would have to get past the winner of 7-Seed New Mexico and 10-Seed California.

Top seeds for Villanova in NBC's bracket include Syracuse (1-Seed), Michigan (3-Seed), and Kentucky (4-Seed). Louisville (6-Seed) also appears in the same region.

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

SB Nation seems to like having Villanova in the West Region, keeping them there again this week as a 2-Seed. Now, they would face 15-Seed American, the projected Patriot League champion (and a re-match of the 'Cats' 2009 opener), in an opening weekend at Buffalo. Winning would put them up against either Connecticut (7-Seed) or Arizona State (10-Seed).

Other top seeds in Villanova's quadrant include Arizona (1-Seed), Duke (3-Seed), and Iowa State (4-Seed). Saint Louis is also in this region to provide some interest for Villanova fans.

Bracketology Around the Big East

All four bracketologists are giving the Big East at least four entries to the tournament this week, but two are listing five bids, while outlier SBN has the league putting 60% into the Dance this year. Villanova, Creighton, Xavier and Providence remain the most likely bids, but Georgetown and St. John's are starting to appear as well.

CBS had the Johnnies in their First Four Out category this week.

The schools are seeded as follows:

NBC - (2) Villanova, (4) Creighton, (9) Xavier, (11) Providence, (12 - Play In) Georgetown

ESPN - (2) Villanova, (3) Creighton, (10) Xavier, (12 - Play In) Providence

SBN - (2) Villanova, (3) Creighton, (10) Georgetown, (11) Xavier, (11) Providence, (11 - Play In) St. John's

CBS - (2) Villanova, (3) Creighton, (9) Xavier, (11) Providence, (12 - Play In) Georgetown