It’s time for another installment of Villanova’s Quad Goals, our ongoing series in which we track the Wildcats’ NCAA Tournament Resume. If you need a refresher on the NET ratings or the Quad System, check out our previous article for additional details.
Villanova continues to move up the ranks, now sitting at #23 in the NET. But the more interesting movement this week is the team that jumped the Wildcats and now sits at #22: the Marquette Golden Eagles. Marquette is coming off a big home win over NET #11 Wisconsin, and has another big home game against NET #12 Buffalo this week. Yet another opportunity for Marquette to pick up a great win with a home court advantage.
Meanwhile, Villanova’s only remaining shot at a NET Top 25 win outside of Marquette is this Saturday at NET #6 Kansas. The Wildcat’s next best win on the season is against Florida State, which currently sits outside the NET Top 25. And in case you were hoping that UConn could be a signature win, they’re outside the NET Top 50.
Bottom line, it’s entirely possible that Villanova could win the Big East and still get seeded under Marquette based on their non-conference schedule. It wouldn’t be unprecedented, Villanova did it to Xavier last year when it was seeded one spot higher on the one line after losing the regular season crown. There’s a very thin margin of how the Big East would have to play out for this to happen, but it could. Either way, it’s becoming very clear that Marquette will be Villanova’s biggest competition for the Big East crown this season.
But anyway, back to Villanova’s quad.
Villanova’s Quad Goals
It was a good week for the Big East in non-conference play, and that means it’s good news for potential Quad 1 games for Nova when the conference kicks off. Here’s the quick glance at where Nova stands today:
The full schedule breakdown is below, but here are a few takeaways from the latest update:
- It sure didn’t feel like it when it happened, but that Furman loss is now a Quad 1 game. I don’t know how long it’ll stay there, as they’re currently ranked NET #28 and would have to stay in the Top 30. They have a game at LSU, and then conference play with Wofford challenging for the title. But if they can keep winning games, that loss and the one to now NET #1 Michigan may not hurt the Wildcats tournament seeding at all.
- With their win over Florida State looking fairly cemented in Quad 1, it’s time to look forward to what other Quad 1 opportunities the Wildcats will have. That number has ballooned up to nine after being down at five just two weeks ago. Not surprisingly, eight of those nine lie in Big East play and could be in jeopardy of dropping down to Quad 2. It’ll likely depend on how well the conference finishes out the month. Hopefully Villanova’s Big East bretheren won’t drop any easy ones, as only Villanova (at #1 Kansas) and Marquette (vs #14 Buffalo) will face opponents ranked in the AP Top 25 before conference play starts.
- While Nova has been improving, it’s only going to get tougher from here. 50% of their games have been Quad 3 & 4 so far. But moving forward, over 85% of their remaining games will be in Quad 1 & 2. Time for the Cats to get feisty!
- Penn should be the toughest opponent Villanova plays in the Big 5 this season. While Temple has the hire NET ranking, the game being at the Palestra should make beating the Quakers even more difficult than it was to vanquish the Owls at home. Careful of the trap game!
Villanova Schedule by NET Ranking and Quadrant
|Furman||28||Home||1||L||Fall to Q2|
|La Salle||339||Away||4||W||Rise to Q3|
|Temple||73||Home||2||W||Fall to Q3|
|Uconn||64||Neutral||2||-||Rise to Q1|
|St. John's||30||Home||1||-||Fall to Q2|
|Xavier||68||Home||2||-||Fall to Q3|
|Seton Hall||85||Home||3||-||Rise to Q2|
|Georgetown||65||Home||2||-||Fall to Q3|
|Georgetown||65||Away||1||-||Fall to Q2|
|Xavier||68||Away||1||-||Fall to Q2|
|Marquette||22||Home||1||-||Fall to Q2|
|Butler||41||Home||2||-||Rise to Q1|
|Seton Hall||85||Away||2||-||Rise to Q1|