In 1991, the Big East sent 7 of their 9 teams to the Big Dance, a 77.8% rate. That record has stood for 28 years, but if the Tournament started today, the current Big East would blow that record out of the water as Cracked Sidewalks can project 9 of 10 Big East teams in the NCAA field, with only Providence missing out.
The league's strong week has Butler on the edge of a 1-seed, saw Villanova and Creighton move up to 5-seeds and 4 of the remaining 6 teams (Marquette, DePaul, Seton Hall, & St. John's) improve their position.
If I'm honest, I don't expect this to hold. Teams like Georgetown and Seton Hall will face real challenges to make the field with depleted rosters, St. John's and DePaul have to prove that their solid non-con wins aren't a fluke, and the league would need incredible parity for everyone to get the 8-10 wins needed to make the field. Most likely some of these teams fall off, but it seems highly likely the league has enough quality to place at least 6 teams in the field and 7 or even 8 are very realistic.
For the bracket on the whole, it gets really messy around the 6 line and from there on down it felt like I was struggling to find teams worthy of the seed. Every year we talk about how weak the field is and this year is no exception. It's early in the year, so hopefully teams will build better resumes as the season goes on, but when I'm seriously looking at a team like Arkansas with a combined zero Quadrant 1+2 victories, it's bad.
Before I get to the S-Curve, a few more notes on the bubble. At this point, I have Virginia, Kentucky, Purdue, and North Carolina all out of the field. The majority of Bracket Matrix disagrees with me, but I try to base my field on how things stand now, and those teams simply don't have the resumes to warrant inclusion. Virginia has zero Quadrant 1 wins and a Quadrant 3 loss. Kentucky has 1 Quadrant 1 win, but their next best win is a single Quadrant 3 win and they also have a Quadrant 4 loss. Purdue has zero Quadrant 1 wins and two Quadrant 3 losses. North Carolina has a Quadrant 1 win, but also has a Quadrant 4 loss and a sub-90 NET.
Compare that to the at-large teams that I have in Dayton. Minnesota has the best home court win in the nation over Ohio State, no losses outside Quadrant 2, and a top-30 NET. Virginia Tech's best win is the same Quadrant 1 win Kentucky has, but they also have a Quadrant 2 win and no losses outside Quadrant 1. Houston has a Quadrant 1 and Quadrant 2 win with no losses outside Quadrant 2. And Miami has two Quadrant 1 wins and no losses outside Quadrant 2. Quite simply, the teams in my field have as good or better quality of wins as the blue bloods I have outside and their worst losses are far better than the worst losses of the marquee names I left out.
Here's the full S-Curve:
1-Seeds: 1-GONZAGA 2-Ohio State 3-Baylor 4-Duke
2-Seeds: 8-West Virginia 7-KANSAS 6-LOUISVILLE 5-BUTLER
3-Seeds: 9-OREGON 10-SAN DIEGO STATE 11-Maryland 12-Michigan
4-Seeds: 16-Florida State 15-AUBURN 14-Penn State 13-MEMPHIS
5-Seeds: 17-Wichita State 18-Villanova 19-Iowa 20-Creighton
6-Seeds: 24-Colorado 23-Indiana 22-DAYTON 21-MICHIGAN STATE
7-Seeds: 25-Marquette 26-Oklahoma 27-Stanford 28-DePaul
8-Seeds: 32-Seton Hall 31-NORTHERN IOWA 30-Washington 29-Oklahoma State
9-Seeds: 33-Georgetown 34-St. John's 35-Arizona 36-LIBERTY
10-Seeds: 40-Byu 39-Xavier 38-Utah State 37-Tennessee
11-Seeds: 41-Texas Tech 42-Vcu 43-St. Mary's 44-N.C. State
12-Seeds: 50-YALE 49-EAST TENNESSEE STATE 48-Miami (Fl)/47-Houston 46-Virginia Tech/45-Minnesota
13-Seeds: 51-LOUISIANA TECH 52-VERMONT 53-BELMONT 54-NEW MEXICO STATE
14-Seeds: 58-UC-IRVINE 57-GEORGIA STATE 56-WRIGHT STATE 55-KENT STATE
15-Seeds: 59-NORTHERN COLORADO 60-RADFORD 61-COLGATE 62-ORAL ROBERTS
16-Seeds: 68-BETHUNE COOKMAN/67-SACRED HEART 66-PRAIRIE VIEW A&M/65-STEPHEN F AUSTIN 64-RIDER 63-HOFSTRA
NIT 1-Seeds: Temple, Virginia, Iowa State, Mississippi
NIT 2-Seeds: Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, USC
Big East: 9
Big 10: 8
Big 12: 6
West Coast: 3
Mountain West: 2