clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Villanova Basketball’s NCAA Tournament “Report Card” Update: Just Keep Winning

Villanova continues to rack up the Quad 1 W’s.

NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at Villanova Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

This weekend will be the official one month mark until Selection Sunday, and the Villanova Wildcats are looking to earn the #1 overall seed for a second consecutive season. To do that, the ‘Cats need to just keep doing what they’ve been doing: winning.

This year the NCAA Selection Committee will be using a Quad System that looks at game location along with RPI rankings. You can find a full explanation of the new system here, but the basics are pretty straight forward:

New NCAA Quad Metric Using NET Rank

Quadrant Home Neutral Away
Quadrant Home Neutral Away
Quad 1 1-30 1-50 1-75
Quad 2 31-75 51-100 76-135
Quad 3 76-160 101-200 136-240
Quad 4 161+ 201+ 241+

Villanova’s “Report Card”

Villanova continues to be the team to beat in the rankings, and at this point it will probably take a Wildcat loss to knock them out of the #1 spot. Their tournament resume also continues to improve through conference play, and the strength of the Big East has been a huge advantage in building Villanova’s case for the #1 overall seed.

Villanova’s NCAA Tournament Quad Sheet

Nova's NCAA Sheet Quad 1 Quad 2 Quad 3 Quad 4
Nova's NCAA Sheet Quad 1 Quad 2 Quad 3 Quad 4
Quad Record 9-1 3-0 6-0 4-0
Remaining Games 5 0 2 1
Total Schedule 15 3 8 5
% of Total Schedule 48% 10% 26% 16%

The Wildcats lone loss on the season to Butler hasn’t really hurt them as they’ve piled up eight Quad 1 wins including Western Kentucky, Tennessee, Gonzaga, at Temple, Xavier, Providence, at Marquette, Creighton, and Seton Hall. Additionally, their three Quad 2 wins are Marquette, at St. John’s, and at UConn.

Not only is that one of the best Quad 1 records in the country, but the Wildcats have five more Quad 1 games left in the regular season. The bad news is that four of the five come on the road, with the lone home game being this Saturday against Butler. If Villanova can win four of those five Quad 1 games down the stretch, and assuming that they don’t trip on a Quad 3 game like St. John’s on Wednesday, then they’ll be a lock for a #1 seed in the tournament. If they can win out the rest of the season, then they’re a sure thing for the top overall seed.

The Race For The #1 Seeds

While Villanova approaches lock status for a #1 seed, the rest of the college basketball elites are fighting it out for their spot on the top line. Virginia and Purdue look to be in the best positions to claim top spots, but the fourth #1 seems to be up for grabs. Here’s what the Quad Sheets look like for the current AP Poll Top 10, aka “The Contenders”.

AP Poll Top 10 NCAA Tournament Sheets

AP Top 10 RPI Rank Quad 1 Quad 2 Quad 3 Quad 4
AP Top 10 RPI Rank Quad 1 Quad 2 Quad 3 Quad 4
Villanova 2 9-1 3-0 6-0 4-0
Virginia 1 6-1 5-0 5-0 6-0
Purdue 8 5-2 6-0 4-0 8-0
Michigan St. 21 2-2 4-1 7-0 9-0
Xavier 3 5-3 5-0 7-0 4-0
Cincinnati 10 4-2 7-0 2-0 8-0
Texas Tech 14 5-3 4-1 3-0 7-0
Auburn 5 4-2 6-0 5-0 6-0
Duke 7 4-2 3-2 9-0 3-0
Kansas 9 8-2 4-2 3-1 3-0

For me, this breaks down into four tiers of teams among the “elite”. The first tier, despite the claims of this being a three team race, I think boils down to just Villanova and Virginia at this point. The Big Ten has been pretty weak, and it hasn’t given Purdue the opportunities to build its resume that the Big East and ACC have given the other two teams. Villanova has the edge over Virginia with the best Quad 1 record and the best Quad 1 & 2 record. My guess is one of these two will end up with the #1 overall seed.

The second tier is led by Purdue, but also includes Xavier, Auburn, and Cincinnati. These four teams can control their own destiny at this point. If they win out, they have an excellent shot at reaching the top line in the tournament. They all have double digit wins between Quads 1 & 2, and they’re all capable of winning their conferences.

The third tier consists of Kansas, Texas Tech, and Duke. These teams are going to need some help to get to the top line, likely in the form of some losses by the teams ahead of them. Kansas is tied with Villanova for the most Quad 1 wins among the Top 10 AP Poll teams, but they also have the most losses of that group. That includes this weekends Quad 3 loss to Oklahoma State, the only Quad 3 loss in the Top 10. Texas Tech has four losses on the season, and while they’re not as bad as the Kansas losses, they only have four Quad 1 wins. They need to do more. Duke’s schedule has not aged well as the season progressed. They’re now just 7-4 in Quads 1 & 2, and they just haven’t been consistent enough for a #1 seed. They too will need a magical run and a little help to reach the top line.

Finally, we get to the fourth tier of Michigan State. The, “How they hell are they the #4 team in the country” tier. They’re 2-2 in Quad 1 games, which is by far the fewest wins of anyone in the Top 10. They only have six wins in Quads 1&2, again the fewest of the “elite” group. Their record has been propped up with nine Quad 4 victories, and that’s going to be a really bad look come Selection Sunday. They have just one Quad 1 game left in the regular season, so they would have to win out, win their conference tournament, and also see some top teams fall if they want a shot at the top line.

It should be a fun final month as we gear up for the tournament. Villanova is really going to get tested down the stretch, but if they can emerge mostly unscathed, they’ll likely be Big East Champions for a fifth straight year and be headed for a top seed in the tournament.