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. And if you’re looking for more information on all the rankings, read Rankings 101.
I think the NCAA is purposefully trying to keep people from understanding how their system works. That way they don’t have to explain themselves come Selection Sunday. Their latest attempt to kerfuffle those of us that follow this stuff is to add sub-sections A and B to quadrants one and two. That’s right, we now have six quadrants. Great job NCAA.
I don’t completely fault the logic behind this move, just the execution. Basically they realized that their quadrant sizes were too big, especially for away games. To put that into perspective, had Villanova won at Kansas it would have counted exactly the same as Nova’s win at Creighton. No offense to the Bluejays, but they aren’t the Jay Hawks.
But instead of narrowing the existing quadrants like they should have, they decided to just divide up a QUADRANT (meaning one of four equal parts), into six unequal parts. Again, thank you so much NCAA for ensuring that people who thought this was too complicated before are now completely tuned out.
For those of you still with me (hopefully the gifs helped), Quads 1 & 2 are now divided into an A and B section. They divided each of those quadrants equally into top and bottom halves, so now the ranking order is Q1A, Q1B, Q2A, Q2B, Q3, Q4. Great that they’re trying to get more granular, but as usually they failed in the execution.
We also don’t know how these new A/B distinctions will be looked at by the selection committee. My initial assumption is that it’s more of a tiebreaker among Q1 and Q1 wins than an actual tier difference, but since I have yet to be invited into the room I can’t say for sure.
As for how this effects Villanova, it’s not good. While the Wildcats are still 2-2 in Q1, they’re 0-2 in Q1A and 2-0 in Q1B. In other words, they don’t have any elite wins. That isn’t helped by Florida State’s recent three game skid or the fact that Creighton has lost their last four games. Those were thought to be locked in Q1 wins for the Cats, and now they’re both on the verge of falling out of Q1 completely.
That puts a lot of extra emphasis on tomorrow’s game with Butler. Not only are they solidly in Q1 right now, an away win at Hinkle Fieldhouse would be on the verge of Q1A status. Obviously it won’t come easy, Nova has dropped their last two games at Butler and on each of those trips the Wildcats were ranked #1 in the country.
But enough about tomorrow, let’s look at where the #18 Wildcats are today in Quad Goals.
Villanova’s Quad Goals
Not only are the new sub-quads harder to understand, they’re not even easy to read! The sub-quadrants aren’t labled, other than to show what NET Rankings are included in each group. Then they added an additional “Upcoming Games” section below that, showing the team’s remaining regular season games. Here’s what the new Team Sheets look like:
With the Team Sheets now encompassing the full season, I’m going to forego the full schedule below (unless you really like it, then put something in the comments.) But don’t worry, I’m still including my thoughts on the full Team Sheet:
- Florida State’s NET Ranking last week was 26th, so even then they would have been out of the Q1A range. That makes them 0-2 with losses to Michigan and Kansas. The only game remaining that would currently fall into that category is at Marquette. The games on the verge of becoming Q1A are vs Marquette, at St. John’s, and at Butler.
- All of Villanova’s Q1 resume got weaker this week. In addition to FSU and Creighton losing games, Temple lost to Penn, St. John’s lost to Butler. and OK State lost twice. Those were all Villanova victories that could have become Quad 1 but now might not be able to recover.
- The down year for the Big East and poor showings in conference play by Nova’s non-con opponents are starting to drag down the Widcat’s strength of schedule. They used to be Top 10, but now are down to 23rd overall and 25th in the non-con.
- Villanova may have the edge in the Big East, but Marquette has the better tournament resume. Marquette is 2-2 in Q1A (Nova’s 0-2), 4-3 in Q1 overall (Nova’s 2-2), and 7-3 in Quads 1&2 (Nova’s 7-4).