Happy Thursday Nova Nation! If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while you know I like to do my research and look stuff up. Well even without putting in the leg work, I’m fairly confident the Big East has never been a third of the way through conference play with 80% of its teams all having the same number of losses.
Right now Villanova is atop the conference with a perfect 6-0 record. Marquette is a half game behind them with a single loss. But then the rest of the league is sitting at either 3-4 (5 teams) or 2-4 (3 teams) and it doesn’t look like they’ll be separating anytime soon.
The Big East was supposed to be “up for grabs” this year, but even then there were going to be a few outliers. Villanova was still going to be on top, maybe Marquette would challenge them, and DePaul would still be in the basement. But now, it seems like there is no basement and everyone is just chilling in the living room. While it’s great that every game feels competitive, there are some real drawbacks to the current situation.
First off, 80% of the Big East has a losing record in conference play right now. Not only is that barely possible, it’s super unlikely. No other major conference has more than 50% of its teams with sub-.500 records, so it’s just not a good look.
Second, it’s devaluing wins for the teams that have a chance at getting into the NCAA Tournament. Usually the Big East provides a gauntlet of ranked teams to navigate throughout January and February. But with everyone beating each other these wins don’t help build a post-season resume. Sure, some of the teams still have fine NET rankings. But that means only away games will be possible Quad 1 victories, and none will be considered “elite” victories.
Eventually the pack will start to break up, and a few teams will prove themselves to be worthy of the 9-11 seed range in the NCAA Tournament. But until that happens, Villanova and Marquette are going to be wishing for better partners to help them get ready for the big dance.
In other “news”, don’t sleep on the Wildcats, Villanova’s “historical” rivalries, and everything you needed to know about the class of 2019. Enjoy!
It's time to consider we counted out Villanova way too early | NCAA.com
There seems to be have been someone missing lately in the general discussion about the pecking order of college basketball.
Villanova isn't defending NCAA title, but still makes use of championship experience | Sporting News
The team that Tuesday evening walked into Hinkle Fieldhouse wore the uniforms of the team that walked of out the Alamodome last April with the 2018 NCAA championship trophy. Which is not to say this Villanova team is the same one that won the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
NCAA Basketball: Top 10 historical rivalries up through 2018-19 | Busting Brackets
NCAA Basketball is home to passion, intensity, and love stories. Which rivalries made the cut in our top 10 all time list? Villanova makes two appearances.
Class of 2019
2020 NBA mock draft - New No. 1 pick, scouting LaMelo Ball | ESPN+
Who are the best prospects in the 2020 NBA draft class?
2019 Basketball Class Rankings | ESPN+
Get in depth college basketball recruiting class rankings, ranking trends, and more on ESPN.
These 10 players from the ESPN 100 will make an immediate collegiate impact | ESPN+
Isaiah Stewart and Cole Anthony are two of the 10 players you can expect to immediately pack a punch at the collegiate level next season.
Hoophall Classic: Programs that should be pleased | Orange & Blue News
The Hoophall Classic hosted some of the top high school and prep teams that boasted some of the future stars of the sport. Following their weekend in New England, Rivals analysts Eric Bossi and Corey Evans highlight the college programs that should be feeling great after the weekend's events in Springfield.