Welcome back to our annual focus on Villanova’s NCAA Tournament resume, aka the “Team Sheet”. As you’ve probably heard over and over, the RPI is dead, and now the NCAA has put together a new system for evaluating teams called NET. If you want to get down into the details, have fun decyphering this graphic:
What are the NET Rankings?— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) November 26, 2018
Here's EVERYTHING you need to know. Be on the lookout for the first release pic.twitter.com/kdZwDEjFPS
With that in mind, we at VU Hoops have put together our own new sleek and flashy way to update you on Villanova’s tournament outlook: Quad Goals.
While the NET system may be new, they’re still fitting into the same format as last season: The Quadrant System. The basic thought is to grant more weight to playing better opponents and playing in more difficult locations. Here’s how it breaks down:
New NCAA Quad Metric Using NET Rank
After last year’s maiden voyage with the quad system, it became quite clear what the committee values: Quad 1 wins. Quad 2 wins, useless. Quad 1 and 2 losses, never happened. Quad 3 and 4 wins, garbage. Quad 3 and 4 losses, ok those could end up hurting you. But nothing was as valuable last season as a Quad 1 win.
And that brings us to yesterday’s debut of the NET rankings:
FIRST EVER NET RANKINGS— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) November 26, 2018
1. Ohio State
3. Texas Tech
7. Michigan State
9. Virginia Tech
10. Loyola Marymount
FULL Rankings 1-353:
The public reaction has been, let’s call it mixed at best. Villanova comes in 38th on this list, and we’ll dive into that in a minute. Bur first to address what can only be described as an odd first ranking. The problem with these early reveals is you’re looking at a system that’s designed to work at the end of the season, not three weeks in. At this point too many variables are given unfair weighting due to small sample sizes, which throws off the ranking. Could the formula use a tweak? Probably. But it’s too early to get upset over something that’s incomplete at best.
And now, back to Villanova’s Quad.
Villanova’s Quad Goals
While we’ve already said it’s still early to take these numbers too seriously, there are some takeaways from the early NET and Quad summaries. Unfortunately, not many are good news for the Wildcats.
I’ll put the full schedule breakdown below, but here are a few takeaways from the early numbers:
- Q1 wins are king, and Nova’s not going to have many more shots at them. The Florida State victory on a neutral court should hold up, but it’s unlikely any of Nova’s other victories to date will end up in Q1. That leaves Kansas, maybe UConn if they run through the American, and probably a handful other Big East teams (currently St. John’s, Butler, and Creighton). Winning those games, especially at road or neutral locations, will be key for Nova’s tournament seeding.
- The Big 5, unlike last season, isn’t doing Villanova any favors. When the Wildcats were traveling to Temple and St. Joe’s, those games were bumped up a quadrant or two. Now, all four Big 5 games are falling in Quads 3 and 4, offering all risk and no reward.
- The Michigan loss shouldn’t really hurt Nova when it comes to seeding, but Furnman is one to keep an eye on. If they keep up their winning ways and wind up in the field it probably won’t be so bad. But if they start losing in conference play their NET will drop quickly, making Nova’s home loss more and more damaging to their tournament profile.
Villanova’s Schedule with Net and Quad Rankings