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Villanova Basketball Quad Goals: What’s The Seeding Ceiling?

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According to meme victim Michael Jordan, it’s the roof.

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.

I’m probably more optimistic than most when it comes to predicting what Villanova can do in a given year. But even I can’t imagine a realistic world in which Villanova wins out the rest of the regular season and the Big East Tournament. So what is the ceiling for Villanova’s resume? It may be better than you think.

Let’s work backwards first and say that Villanova’s best case scenario involves winning the BET over Marquette and another Top 50 NET team. In a tournament setting over three days anything is possible, so this isn’t a crazy assumption to make, and it certainly helps the resume with two Q1 wins and three overall victories.

The regular season, specifically road games, is where it gets a bit trickier. I can’t imagine Villanova goes undefeated, but if we’re really being optimistic, what’s the best they can do? Honestly, I think it’s two losses. Five games stick out to me as red flags: at Marquette, vs Marquette, at St. John’s, at Butler, at Seton Hall. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think the Wildcats can go 3-2 through that stretch, win out at home, and beat the rest of the Big East on the road. It wouldn’t be easy, but it’s sure doable.

There’s another thing to note about those five games I mentioned, they’d all be Quad 1 games. So let’s assume it doesn’t matter for seeding purposes which ones were lost and that Villanova would pick up two more Q1 wins in the BET. That gives the Wildcats seven Q1 wins on the season with no bad losses. That number jumps up to eight Q1 wins if St. John’s finds itself back in the NET Top 30 (remember they were without Shamorie Ponds in the DePaul loss). We’re being optomistic enough for now though, so let’s stick with a 7-4 Q1 record and what would be a 28-6 overall record.

How does that compare to other resumes from last year’s NCAA Tournament? I looked it up and just to make sure we’re getting all possible comparisons, here are the teams that went into Selection Sunday last year with six Q1 wins and twenty five or more total wins:

2018 Selection Sunday Teams with 25+ Wins and 6+ Q1 Wins

Team Overall Record Q1 Record Seed Line Overall Seed
Team Overall Record Q1 Record Seed Line Overall Seed
Virginia 31-2 12-1 1 1
Villanova 30-4 10-3 1 2
Kansas 27-7 12-3 1 3
North Carolina 25-10 14-8 2 5
Purdue 28-6 6-5 2 7
Cincinnati 30-4 6-4 2 8
Tennessee 25-8 6-7 3 10
Michigan 27-7 6-5 3 11
Auburn 25-7 7-5 4 13
Houston 26-7 6-3 6 23

The first thing that stands out to me is that Villanova’s ceiling may be as high as a 2 Seed, especially if they close out the rest of the season on a 15-2 run. But even if they drop another game here or there, a protected Top 4 Seed is still very much in play for the Wildcats. I mean, teams like Xavier and Duke earned 1 and 2 seeds last year, and they didn’t even have enough Q1 wins to make the above list.

To be clear, this is Villanova’s best case scenario. It would be really difficult to finish that strong the way the team’s playing now, even with the marked improvement we’ve seen in Big East play. However, if they continue to improve at their current rate, this could become a reality for the Wildcats.

Anyway, enough predicting the future, let’s dive into Villanova’s Quad Goals!

Villanova’s Quad Goals

One step forward, and one step back. That’s how Villanova’s Q1 record went this week. The Creighton victory looks to be a locked in Q1 win, but that St. John’s home win is going to be on the fringe of the NET Top 30 all season. Right now, the Johnnies are on the wrong side of that line.

The full schedule breakdown is below, but here are a few takeaways:

  • We’re officially on Big 5 watch, for good and bad reasons. Penn has dropped to 126th in the NET, and they need to stay at 135 or better to remain a Q2 loss. A Q3 loss wouldn’t hurt too much, but it certainly doesn’t help.
  • The other Big 5 team to watch is Temple. After beating Houston and South Florida this week, they’re up to #44 in the NET. It’s unlikely they find their way into the Top 30, but if they do it becomes a Q1 win for Villanova.
  • One of the reasons Nova’s computer numbers look so well is that they’re having success in what you may call the “tie breaker” categories. These are areas like SOS, Road record, or predictive rankings (BPI, POM, SAG) that would be used by the committee as secondary factors when comparing similar teams. They won’t make a huge impact on Villanova’s seeding, but could be the reason they get bumped up a line.
  • Villanova is undefeated on a neutral court this year. If they can run through the BET, that would make them 7-0 heading into Selection Sunday.

Villanova’s Schedule by NET Ranking and Quadrant

Team NET Location Quad Result Move Potential
Team NET Location Quad Result Move Potential
Morgan State 327 Home 4 W Steady
Quinnipiac 244 Home 4 W Steady
Michigan 3 Home 1 L Steady
Furman 64 Home 2 L Fall to Q3
Canisius 271 Neutral 4 W Steady
Oklahoma State 58 Neutral 2 W Rise to Q1
Florida State 26 Neutral 1 W Steady
La Salle 267 Away 4 W Rise to Q3
Temple 44 Home 2 W Rise to Q1
St. Joe's 170 Home 4 W Rise to Q3
Penn 126 Away 2 L Fall to Q3
Kansas 12 Away 1 L Steady
Uconn 87 Neutral 2 W Fall to Q3
DePaul 91 Home 3 W Steady
Providence 97 Away 2 W Steady
St. John's 37 Home 2 W Rise to Q1
Creighton 55 Away 1 W Steady
Xavier 77 Home 3 - Rise to Q2
Butler 48 Away 1 - Steady
Seton Hall 39 Home 2 - Rise to Q1
DePaul 91 Away 2 - Steady
Georgetown 101 Home 3 - Steady
Creighton 55 Home 2 - Steady
Marquette 19 Away 1 - Steady
Providence 97 Home 3 - Steady
St. John's 37 Away 1 - Steady
Georgetown 101 Away 2 - Steady
Xavier 77 Away 2 - Rise to Q1
Marquette 19 Home 1 - Fall to Q2
Butler 48 Home 2 - Steady
Seton Hall 39 Away 1 - Steady

*Move Potential indicates if a game is within 15 spots in the NET of moving from one Quadrant to another.