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 rankings 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.
It’s bracket season, and everyone has an opinion on where teams should be seeded. Seriously, it feels like there are more “bracketologists” every single season. That’s not really a bad thing, since even the best in the business don’t get it perfectly right. However, it does make tracking them all a daunting task.
That was until one of our avid readers, The Liberal Art, introduced me to Bracket Matrix. Apparently this thing has been under my nose for a while and I just never sniffed it out, but it’s a great way to consolidate all of the bracketology pieces for some easy analysis. That’s the good part. The bad part is that it includes some really zany stuff, not just the “experts” we’re used to checking in on. For example, the fact that Sportsmind has UNC-Greensboro as an 8 seed alongside Villanova is utterly ridiculous. But to each their own, and when you have 112 brackets to choose from, you’re going to get a few outliers.
So with that said, here’s what Bracket Matrix can tell us about where the Bracketologists see Villanova and the Big East:
Villanova is still a unanimous selection for the tournament, coming in no lower than an 8 seed in any bracket. While the majority of Bracketology currently has Villanova as a 7 Seed (25th overall), far more voters skew higher in their brackets than lower. That leads me to believe that if Nova can right the ship, there may be an opportunity to climb up to a 6 or maybe even a 5 seed. A 4 seed is highly unlikely after this recent skid, but if the ‘Cats won out and got some help it’s not impossible.
As for the rest of the Big East, Marquette leads the way as a 3 Seed, St. John’s lands a 9 seed, and Seton Hall could find themselves playing in Dayton if they get in at all. Butler’s just on the outside looking in right now, and they may need to bump off Seton Hall in order to get in. Georgetown and Creighton did fall into the “others receiving votes” category, but they’ll likely need to win the Big East Tournament if they want to go dancing.
When accounting for number of teams and seeding, the Big East would rank 5th out of 32 among all the conferences. But that’s a little deceiving, because there’s a big difference between Nova’s conference and the rest of the Top 5. The ACC and Big Ten would be in the top tier, followed not too far behind by a second tier of the Big 12 and SEC. Then there’s a significant drop off before you get to a third tier of the Big East and the American. Not great, but at least it’s not the PAC 12 who would be 9th overall at the bottom of the fourth tier behind the West Coast and Mountain West.
So if that’s where Villanova and the Big East stand today, what’s their path up the seeding ladder? For that we dive into Quad Goals.
Villanova Quad Goals
Despite losing four of their last five games, Villanova is still without a Q3 or Q4 loss. Thank goodness for road games! The problem is Nova’s resume really needed a few road victories. The Wildcats still have at least two opportunities for Q1 wins in their last three games of the regular season, but only one comes on the road. Here’s Villanova’s tournament resume as of today:
A few things that strike me from the latest Villanova resume update:
- Despite the losing streak, Nova’s NET ranking is still in the Top 28, which hopefully puts them at worst at a 7 seed. That’ll be key to avoiding a first weekend matchup with one of the 1 seeds. The predictive rankings average out to 26th, also in that Top 28 range.
- At 3-5 in Q1 games, Villanova would need to win vs Marquette and at Seton Hall just to get to .500 by the end of the regular season. That’s made even worse by their win at Providence (NET 83) falling back down to Q2, now 8 spots away from being a Q1 win.
- Nova’s Strength of Schedule has been slipping a bit after playing against some non-NCAA Tournament bound teams. That slide should stop, if not rebound, as they close out with three games against teams that are either convincingly in or on the bubble.
- While Nova has been losing games, they’ve all been on the road. The Wildcats are 15-2 at home and on neutral courts. They haven’t lost at home since November 17th to Furman. That said, if they don’t win on the road at Seton Hall, it will be the team’s first losing road record since 2013.
Villanova will be back in action tomorrow in a BIG game against Marquette, followed by their final home game of the season against Butler at the Wells Fargo Center this weekend.