It took a little longer to get there than expected, but the Wildcats finally took the step up to the 2 Seed line we’ve been anticipating. For me, the Wildcats have a good shot at remaining on the two line if they at least make it to the Big East Tournament Championship game, and it’s a lock if they win the whole thing. Just know that the Big Ten Champ will be right on their heels trying to knock them down a seed line. I can’t imagine the winner of that tournament (if it’s Wisconsin, Purdue, or Illinois) doesn’t end up on the 2 seed line.
Villanova Bracket Watch: 3/8 Update
|1 Seeds||Baylor (1)||Gonzaga (2)||Arizona (3)||Auburn (4)|
|2 Seeds||Kentucky (6)||Villanova (8)||Kansas (5)||Duke (7)|
|3 Seeds||Wisconsin (10)||Tennessee (11)||Purdue (9)||Texas Tech (12)|
|4 Seeds||UCLA (14)||Illinois (15)||Arkansas (16)||Providence (13)|
Seeding Rules That Caused Shifts
- Kentucky couldn’t be in the East because of Auburn
- Tennessee couldn’t be in the South because of Kentucky
- Texas Tech couldn’t be in the South because of Baylor, and couldn’t switch with Tennessee because of Kentucky, so they had to switch with Wisconsin.
- Illinois couldn’t be in the Mid-West or South because of Purdue and Wisconsin, so they had to switch with UCLA. UCLA goes to the South Region over the Mid-West due to geography.
Overall True Seed Changes Since Yesterday
- Villanova (8): Up One, Now a Two Seed
- Purdue (9): Up One
- Wisconsin (10): Down Two, Now a Three Seed
Impact on Villanova
Yesterday we talked about how the 2 Seed may be the preferable route because it presents a lower quality opponent in the second round despite forcing the Wildcats further west for the Sweet 16. If you’re doing your homework, you may start doing some S-Curve math and realize that if Bracket Matrix was 100% accurate with their predictions, Nova would play the winner of #7 USC vs #10 Wake Forest.
Now isn’t it bad if Villanova has to face USC in the West Region? Not at all! In fact, that would probably be preferable. As one of the Top 4 seeds, Villanova will get preferential treatment when it comes to being placed in one of the first weekend locations. We haven’t spent a whole lot of time talking about these yet, so let’s run them down really quick.
The Top 4 Seed Lines in order of true seed will get their preference of opening weekend location, usually determined by geographic proximity. And because there will be two sessions at each site, it doubles your chances of getting the location you want. Additionally, the locations are already assigned what days they’ll be hosting games. The Thursday/Saturday games will be in Buffalo, Fort Worth, Indianapolis, and Portland, while the Friday/Sunday games will be in Greenville, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and San Diego.
At this point, Villanova is almost a lock to land in Pittsburgh for games on Friday/Sunday. There is no team currently seeded ahead of them that would have Pittsburgh as their first choice. In fact, using today’s seeding, here’s how I think the locations would breakdown:
- Buffalo: Thursday/Saturday, Providence (13) and Arkansas (16)
- Fort Worth: Thursday/Saturday, Baylor (1) and Kansas (5)
- Greenville: Friday/Sunday, Auburn (4) and Duke (7)
- Indianapolis: Thursday/Saturday, Kentucky (6) and Purdue (9)
- Milwaukee: Friday/Sunday, Wisconsin (10) and Illinois (15)
- Pittsburgh: Friday/Sunday, Villanova (8) and Tennessee (11)
- Portland: Thursday/Saturday, Gonzaga (2) and UCLA (14)
- San Diego: Friday/Sunday, Arizona (3) and Texas Tech (12)
So circling back to our initial example, what if Villanova drew USC? Despite being in the West Region, USC would have to fly out to Pennsylvania to play at Nova’s site in Pittsburgh. Good chance Nova will have the best cheering section of anyone at the location, and likely also the best team.
I’d expect the bracket to stay fairly quiet for the rest of the week, and then start to really start shifting around as the conference tournaments get into their semi-final games on Friday and Saturday. Villanova is positioned will for a great seed, and hopefully a favorable path to another Final Four!