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Villanova Basketball’s NCAA Tournament Team Sheet: #1 Seeds

Can the Big East grab two #1 Seeds for the first time since 2009?

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Villanova Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Almost 10 years ago, the Big East captured three of the four #1 seeds in the NCAA tournament. Now, Villanova and Xavier have a chance to deliver multiple top seeds from the same conference for the first time since realignment.

But it’s no sure thing. As we’ll soon see from diving into the team sheets, there are just a handful of teams remaining that could claim a #1 seed. Before we get into current standings, let’s take a look at who could come out of Selection Sunday with the best chances at making the Final Four.

The Lock: Virginia

While it’s possible that Virginia could be unseeded as the #1 overall team, I don’t think it’s possible for them to drop from the #1 line. Even if they lose their first game in the ACC tournament to the lowest seed possible. They have two losses all season, and they earned the top seed.

The Front Runners: Villanova, Xavier, Kansas

These three teams are likely #1 seeds unless something goes horribly wrong. If Kansas wins the Big 12 Tournament, they’re basically a lock. That’s even taking into account their late season stumble to OK State. Villanova and Xavier look to be on a collision course for the Big East Tournament title, and if they both make that game I think they’re both in as well.

The only way these teams get knocked off the top line is an early exit from the tournament, and another team stepping up, let’s be honest, in the ACC.

The Party Crashers: Duke, UNC

Duke is a media darling, and if they can pull off another run through the ACC tournament, it would give them the Q1 wins they need to make their case for a number one seed. They’ll need some help in the form of another team faltering, but that’s not entirely impossible. If winning the ACC Tournament includes a win over Virginia, then it may be the ACC that gets two #1 seeds.

UNC would be a long shot, and they’d need everything to fall their way, but a #1 seed still isn’t impossible. If they can win the ACC tournament by beating Duke and Virginia, and one of the other three teams ahead of them fall flat early on, then they have enough Q1 wins to make the case for a #1 seed.

The Dark Horse: Cincinnati

The case for this team is simple: the rest of the college basketball world would have to come burning down around them.

For Cincinnati, they would need to win their conference tournaments, have the rest of the major contenders lose early, and then those conference tournaments would have to be won by teams that wouldn’t have a shot of taking the spotlight. Literally everyone rated above or remotely near these teams would have to lose and lose early while they ran the table and beat Wichita State in the process.

It’s next to impossible, but the NCAA Selection committee has done some crazy stuff in the past. Why stop now.

Villanova’s NCAA Tournament Team Sheet

With 8 Quad 1 wins, Villanova looks primed for a #1 seed if they can reach the Big East Tournament Final. If they face Xavier, then win or lose they will have a great chance at the top line. Here are a few notes from the team sheets:

  • Unless DePaul pulls an upset, all of Villanova’s games in the BET would likely count toward Q1. The only exception is that a Seton Hall loss could drop them below an RPI ranking of 30, which would move one of Villanova’s wins over them to Q2. Either way, if Villanova wins the BET, they will have double digit Q1 wins.
  • While it may have not seemed so important at the time, Villanova’s victory over Tennessee (Co-SEC Champions) is now a Top 10 Q1 win, and their best victory in Non-Conference play.
  • There are two games within ten spots of jumping up a Quad: Q2 home win vs Creighton (35), Q2 neutral win vs Western Kentucky (55).
  • There are two games within ten spots of dropping down a Quad: Q1 home win vs Seton Hall (27), Q3 home win vs Georgetown (150).

AP Poll Top 25 NCAA Tournament Team Sheets

While the AP Poll has no bearing on the NCAA Tournament, it’s a good barometer of which teams could be placed on the top four lines of the bracket. Here’s what their resumes look like after Monday’s games:

AP Poll Top 25 NCAA Tournament Team Sheets

AP Poll Top 25 RPI Rank Quad 1 Quad 2 Quad 3 Quad 4 Pred. Rank Non-Con SOS
AP Poll Top 25 RPI Rank Quad 1 Quad 2 Quad 3 Quad 4 Pred. Rank Non-Con SOS
Virginia 1 9-1 5-1 9-0 5-0 2 51
Villanova 2 8-3 7-0 8-1 4-0 1.67 45
Xavier 3 6-3 8-1 9-0 4-0 13.33 43
Michigan State 15 3-4 5-0 12-0 9-0 5.33 240
Duke 4 6-4 7-2 8-0 4-0 2.33 20
Gonzaga 29 5-2 2-2 6-0 16-0 9.33 121
Michigan 13 6-5 5-1 5-1 11-0 11.33 277
Cincinnati 7 5-4 8-0 6-0 8-0 5 149
Kansas 5 10-3 8-3 2-1 4-0 9 24
Purdue 10 6-4 5-2 8-0 9-0 4.67 89
Wichita State 12 4-3 10-2 3-1 7-0 13.67 74
North Carolina 6 11-7 2-1 6-1 3-0 7.17 11
Tennessee 9 5-6 6-1 9-0 3-0 16 32
Texas Tech 22 5-6 7-2 4-0 7-0 13.67 254
Arizona 18 4-3 8-3 7-1 5-0 22 102
Auburn 8 7-4 4-2 9-0 5-0 16.33 70
Ohio State 23 3-5 6-2 9-1 6-0 18 42
West Virginia 31 7-7 6-1 2-1 7-0 10 262
Clemson 11 4-7 6-1 6-0 6-0 18.17 65
Saint Mary's (Cal.) 43 2-1 2-2 9-2 15-0 28 210
Houston 19 5-2 4-2 6-1 9-1 22.67 239
Nevada 14 2-2 5-2 13-2 6-0 27.67 21
Florida 38 9-4 4-5 2-2 5-0 19.33 48
Miami (FL) 25 5-5 3-2 7-1 7-0 31.67 147
Rhode Island 16 2-4 3-1 8-1 10-0 43.67 4

Based on the tendencies of the Selection Committee and the team sheets above, here’s where I think the top seed lines stand today:

#1 Seeds: Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Kansas

Virginia has the best record, the best resume, and may be able to lose any game in the ACC tournament and still retain the #1 overall seed. Good on ya Wahoos.

Villanova and Xavier aren’t completely out of the woods, but they have two pretty great resumes. A win in the Big East tournament for either team would certainly secure a #1 seed, and if they both make the final that could be enough as well.

Kansas slipped up in their regular season finale, and now they’ve opened the door for the teams trying to snag a #1 seed from under them. A Big 12 Tournament title would likely lock them on the top line, but anything short of that could drop Kansas down a rung.

#2 Seeds: Duke, Cincinnati, UNC, Michigan State

Duke has been making a late season push, and if they can continue that into the ACC tournament, they’ll have a shot at catching Kansas or the Big East teams for a #1 seed. But that still means they’d likely have to win the ACC title, and beat one of UNC or Virginia to do it.

Cincinnati and UNC would have to run the table, beat some highly ranked teams along the way, and get some help if they were to have a shot at the top seed. That said, it would take a big misstep to knock them off the two line.

Michigan State had an early exit from the Big Ten Tournament. While all eyes were on them last week, we’ll now see how it effects their status to be out of sight and out of mind. They’re certainly good enough to be a 2 Seed, but there are other teams that could still jump them. I’m looking at you Co-SEC Champs.

#3 Seeds: Auburn, Tennessee, Purdue, Wichita State

Auburn and Tennessee could be in position to help each other leap frog Michigan State onto the 2 line. If they face off in the SEC Tournament Championship, it’s going to be hard to make a case for an MSU team that didn’t even make its conference tournament final, and only has three Quad 1 wins.

Purdue seemed like a shoe in for a #1 seed in January. Less than two months later they’re sitting on the three line while Michigan State and Michigan hold the Big 10 trophies. They’d still be in position to make a deep tournament run, but a lot of their momentum seems to have been knocked out.

Wichita State probably can’t get much higher than a 3 seed, but they can seek some revenge on Cincinnati in the conference tournament. Beating them for the title would likely lock them into a protected seed and keep their new conference foe from having any shot at a #1 seed.

#4 Seeds: Arizona, Texas Tech, Michigan, Gonzaga

I’m not going to lie, this year’s crop of 4 seeds aren’t ideal if you’re a #1 seed.

Arizona is going to be on a redemption tour with eyes on one last Final Four before the bottom falls out. Texas Tech is going to be healthy again, and trying to prove that they should have ended the Kansas streak. Michigan is hot, and Villanova fans know that being hot is better than being talented in the tournament. And this may be the least hyped good Gonzaga team there’s ever been. Should make for some really fun Sweet 16 matchups.

The next four up: West Virginia, Clemson, Nevada, Ohio State