The Villanova Wildcats are doing exactly what fans were hoping they’d do in March. Play their best basketball, grind out wins, and work towards a Championship. Now Villanova is poised for a 6th BET Title, and beyond that a high seed in the NCAA Tournament. How high and in what region that’ll be, that depends on the rest of the field.
Villanova Bracket Watch: 3/12 Update
|1 Seeds||Gonzaga (1)||Arizona (2)||Baylor (3)||Kansas (4)|
|2 Seeds||Villanova (8)||Duke (7)||Kentucky (5)||Auburn (6)|
|3 Seeds||Texas Tech (11)||Tennessee (10)||Purdue (9)||Wisconsin (12)|
|4 Seeds||Arkansas (15)||Illinois (14)||UCLA (13)||Providence (16)|
Seeding Rules That Caused Shifts
- Tennessee couldn’t be in the East because of Auburn
- Texas Tech couldn’t be in the East because of Kansas
- Illinois couldn’t be in the Mid-West or East because of Purdue and Wisconsin
- Arkansas can’t be in the Mid-West, East, or South because of Kentucky, Auburn, or Tennessee, switches with UCLA
Overall True Seed Changes Since Yesterday
- Kansas (4), Up One, Climbs to 1 Seed Line
- Kentucky (5), Up One
- Auburn (6), Down Two, Drops to 2 Seed Line
- Texas Tech (11), Up One
- Wisconsin (12), Down One
- UCLA (13), Up One
- Illinois (14), Down One
- Arkansas (15), Up One
- Providence (16), Down One
Impact on Villanova
The Wildcats could still see a wide variety of outcomes even just based on what happens today. The worst case scenario is that Nova loses, Purdue wins, and the Wildcats drop to the 3 seed line with a shot at the East Region. That’s really great if it’s the worst that could happen.
The best case scenario is ending up in the East as a 2 Seed, and for that to happen there are a lot more dominos that need to fall. First, Nova needs to take care of their own business and walk out of Madison Square Garden as Big East Champions. That’s the only thing they can control, so Jay Wright will certainly have them focused soley on winning that title and say everything else will work itself out.
But for fans, we get to spend the day watching how that all gets worked out. So if you’re spending the day watching college hoops, here’s what you want to root for:
- Texas A&M to beat Arkansas. There’s double reasoning here, but it’s also not a crucial piece of the puzzle. First off, it technically helps Villanova’s resume a little more if Texas A&M wins instead of Arkansas because of who they played in the non-conference. But more importantly we’re gonna want whoever wins on the other side of the SEC bracket to win the SEC Championship. A&M poses the lesser threat to that. Again, this is a nice to have, but not a must.
- Iowa to beat Indiana. Again, another nice to have but at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter. This is more about setting up the team that’s going to have the best shot at beating Purdue should they advance.
- Kentucky to beat Tennessee. This one may go against conventional thinking because Nova beat Tennessee. But for the seeding purposes, Nova needs two things to happen. First, it needs to protect the east from all the SEC and Big 12 teams by having one of each on the 1 line. That will put the seeding rules into Nova’s favor and help them move towards the East. It’s even better if Baylor is the team that gets knocked to the two line, as their preference is the South.
- Houston to beat Tulane. Again this one doesn’t matter, but a Houston win could slightly bolster Nova’s NET ranking based on who they played in the non-conference.
- Michigan State to beat Purdue. The Boilermakers have the best shot at jumping Nova. The head to head victory, a possible Big Ten Title, there’s certainly no chance for Nova to be the #2 seed in the East if Purdue is also in front of them.
- Kansas to beat Texas Tech. Like Kentucky, this is all about setting up a 1 line that protects Nova’s spot in the East and knocks Baylor down to a 2 seed. It’s unlikely Nova can jump Kansas anyway, so we may have them working for us. Also, keeps Texas Tech from getting in position to jump Nova should they come up short against Creighton.
- Virginia Tech to beat Duke. This is the big one. Nova needs to jump Duke for the 2 seed in the East to be realistic. The only way that’s going to happen is if Nova wins a conference title and Duke doesn’t.
- Arizona to beat UCLA. Again, this is all about setting up the 1 line to best benefit Villanova. Anything to ensure Baylor is the team dropping to the two seed is the number one goal.
I added in a couple extra points in there, but let’s boil it down to the big four essentials: Nova wins, Duke loses, Kentucky wins, Kansas wins. If those four happen, Nova’s going to have a shot at a REALLY favorable path in the NCAA Tournament.