So, the Wildcats seem to be back on track again, easily handling Temple at the Liacouras Center and crushing Xavier at home mid-snow-day. They're firing on all cylinders once again, after being ruffled at the Wells Fargo Center by Creighton and then dealing with a rough (but successful) road trip through Milwaukee and Washington, D.C. These 'Cats are not quite invincible, but they can get convincing victories over the teams they are supposed to beat and scrap with almost anybody.
The Wildcats are now ranked third by RPI, moving up one spot over this time last week. KenPom.com has also promoted the number-6 ranked Wildcats to 7th in their computer rankings, with the 8th-best offensive efficiency and the 25th-best defense in the nation.
On to the Bracketology . . .
ESPN (Joe Lunardi) - 2 Seed, Buffalo, West Region
Lunardi's bracket was updated last Thursday, January 30, so it doesn't take into account either the Temple game from Saturday or Monday night's Xavier game. Nonetheless, Joey Brackets has the Wildcats listed as a 2-Seed in the West Region. They would open the tournament against the University of Vermont in an opening match in Buffalo.
Standing in their way would be 7-Seed Connecticut, 3-Seed San Diego State, and 1-Seed Arizona. Seemingly-regular tournament rival* UNC also appears in this quadrant, as the 10-Seed.
*I mean, IF you can call them a rival...
CBS Sports (Jerry Palm) - 3 Seed, Raleigh, West Region
Palm remains pretty down on the Wildcats this week. They rise this week in his bracket from a 4-Seed in the South to a 3-Seed in the West; they still open in Raleigh though. In this version of the bracket, they are slated to play a metro-Atlanta school (last week, Palm had them against Mercer), Georgia State of the Sun Belt conference, a 14-Seed.
To advance to the second weekend, they would also need to defeat the winner of 6-Seed Memphis and 11-Seed Missouri. Top seeds in Palm's West region include Arizona (1-Seed), Kansas (2-Seed), and Iowa (4-Seed).
NBC Sports (Dave Ommen) - 2 Seed, Buffalo, East Region
Not much has changed for the Wildcats in NBC Sports' bracket this week. Dave Ommen has kept the 'Cats lined up as a 2-Seed in Buffalo, playing the Stony Brook Seawolves. To advance to the Sweet 16, they would have to get past the winner of 7-Seed UMass and 10-Seed Minnesota as well.
Top seeds in NBC's MSG-Regional quadrant include Syracuse (1-Seed), Cincinnati (3-Seed), and Iowa (4-Seed).
SB Nation (Chris Dobbertean) - 2 Seed, Buffalo, West Region
SB Nation is keeping Villanova in the West Region this week, as a 2-Seed. Now, they would face 15-Seed N.C. Central, the projected MEAC champion, in an opening weekend trip to Buffalo. Winning would put them up against either Connecticut (7-Seed) or Colorado (10-Seed).
Other top seeds in Villanova's quadrant of the Dobber's bracket include Arizona (1-Seed), Duke (3-Seed), and Virginia (4-Seed). UMass, Saint Louis and Delaware are all in this region to provide some interest for Villanova fans.
Bracketology Around the Big East
All four bracketologists are giving the Big East four entries to the tournament this week and all remain in agreement on which four. Villanova, Creighton, Xavier and Providence as the likely bids, with Georgetown perhaps on the bubble.
The schools are seeded as follows:
NBC - (2) Villanova, (3) Creighton, (9) Xavier, (10) Providence
ESPN - (2) Villanova, (3) Creighton, (8) Xavier, (12) Providence
SBN - (2) Villanova, (4) Creighton, (11) Xavier, (9) Providence
CBS - (3) Villanova, (3) Creighton, (9) Xavier, (10) Providence