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The Big East is wide open... for second place behind Villanova

The Wildcats will be the standard bearers yet again for the Big East

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Happy Tuesday Nova Nation! Something funny happened yesterday. I actually cared about a preseason poll in June. No, I didn’t care about where Nova was ranked or how they compared to the rest of the blue bloods of college basketball. I cared about Marquette being ranked 27th.

Yesterday Andy Katz posted his Top 36 teams (ok, so we’re just using arbitrary numbers now are we?). After losing four players to the NBA draft, most of these polls have Nova ranked in the Top 10. Katz had the Cats at #10, a spot that recognizes both the 2018 National Championship and the fact that the cupboard is far from bare on the Main Line.

But I then had to scroll all the way down out of the Top 25 to Marquette at #27 to find the next best Big East team. Not only that, it was the only other Big East team on a list of 36 schools. Considering that at the end of last season half of the conference ranked in KenPom’s Top 36, that’s quite the fall from grace.

I’m not worried about the Big East. It’s a tradition rich school that is located in a supremely talented part of the country. Teams will bounce back from the personnel losses and someone will rise from the ashes and join Nova in the Top 25. What I’m sick of is hearing that the Big East is “wide open”. What!? Villanova is the only school even being considered as a championship competitor, so how is anyone challenging in the Big East. While schools like Marquette and St. John’s look like they’re ready to make a jump, they’re still a far cry from the champs.

But as long as we’ve all acknowledged that the BEAST will once again be Nova’s to lose, who would be the #1 Contender? Marquette and the Screamin’ Woj’s? St. John’s and the Shamorie Ponds Stunt Spectacular? Providence and Cooley’s Cool Cats? Georgetown and... hahaha, Georgetown, that’s funny.

The decision is yours Nova Nation, make your pick in the comments below. In other “news”, Reid Travis is coming to town, Mikal works out in the windy city, and Father Peter gets a promotion. Enjoy!

Andy Katz's Power 36: A look ahead to the 2018-19 season post-NBA draft early-entry withdrawal deadline |
The early-entry withdrawal deadline has elapsed and rosters are being set. That means it’s time for our first pre-preseason Power 36 for 2018-19.

Villanova is still top dog, but NBA draft decisions open Big East race | Indy Star
Of 13 players receiving all-Big East votes, 11 are gone — and that doesn't include Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman.

Stanford's Reid Travis could 'kill it' for Kentucky basketball | Courier Journal
The Kentucky basketball roster is still pending thanks to a potential graduate transfer and early enrollee. But not so fast, Villanova is becoming an increasingly attractive landing spot.

VIDEO: Mikal Bridges on fit with Bulls | Chicago Tribune
Villanova's Mikal Bridges discusses his fit with the Bulls after doing a predraft workout with the team on Monday, June 4, 2018.

President Danko to Chair Big East Board of Directors | Butler Stories
Villanova's Father Peter will assume the role of Vice Chair.