"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Friday, February 11, 2022

Big East Win Targets

Justin, how many wins would it take to lock Marquette into the NCAA field?
 Photo by Justin Gash | AP Sports

The Big East has 7 teams fighting for bids right now. So what do they need to do in order for all 7 to get in, and is there any chance one of the outsiders could crack the field? Bear in mind any of these teams could probably get to Dayton with one fewer win than I'm presenting, but we are talking lock status, Let's break them down in order of the standings:

Providence Friars (20-2/10-1) -- 1 win:  The Friars might be safe already, but the strength of their resume is the lack of losses, and if they suddenly had losses to DePaul and Butler (among others) on the resume, the resume metrics that are propping them up would drop quickly. I expect they could probably lose out and still get into Dayton, but they need at least one more to be certain.

Villanova Wildcats (18-6/11-3) -- 1 win: Similar to Providence, Villanova is probably safe, but if they lose out their 18-13 record would be the kind that gets a lot more scrutiny. Get one more win and they are completely secure.

Connecticut Huskies (16-6/7-4) -- 4 wins: UConn needed that win against Marquette as it's only their third win over a team in the projected field (two against Marquette and a beauty over Auburn). They still need to add a couple notches on the belt. This feels like a high number for a team with UConn's metrics, but their win over Marquette was only their third against a team in the field (MU twice & Auburn) and they have three games against teams unlikely to get in. While 3 wins would probably be enough considering the soft bubble, it would take 20 wins for UConn to feel completely safe on Selection Sunday.

Marquette Golden Eagles (16-8/8-5) -- 3 wins: Marquette is similar to Villanova in that 18 is just a very risky number of wins to bring to the Selection Committee. They have enough quality wins and the metrics are fine, so it's just a matter of not stepping on too many rakes before Selection Sunday. The remaining schedule should mean a comfortable finish, but Marquette fans jaded by major swoons each of the past 3 years could be forgiven for not feeling that comfort just yet.

Creighton Blue Jays (14-8/6-5) -- 6 wins: While 5 might do it, anything less than 6-2 down the stretch will have them sweating in Omaha. The plus side is they have some fantastic wins and despite the shaky metrics; their three Q1A wins are the types of wins that get poor-metric teams into Dayton (see 2019 Arizona State, 2019 St. Johns, and 2021 Wichita State). Getting 6 more wins would mean adding at least 2 more over teams in the field. It's an uphill climb, but the opportunity is there.

Xavier Musketeers (16-7/6-6) -- 4 wins: Xavier's once sterling resume is starting to look iffy. They haven't beat a top-75 NET team since December 18. They only have wins over two teams we can confidently put in the field (Ohio State and Marquette, Creighton is very bubbly). As long as they can win the games they are supposed to down the stretch, they should be okay, but as we saw at Cintas against DePaul, that hasn't been an easy task of late.

Seton Hall Pirates (15-7/6-6) -- 3 wins: While this would put Seton Hall in that "not hitting 19" category we discussed above, their cancelled games mean 18 wins would keep them out of Dayton. Picking up one more quality win (Xavier, Villanova, or UConn all qualify) would really help their case, but the Pirates are still in pretty good shape as long as they don't collapse.

St. John's Red Storm (13-10/5-7) -- 7 wins: The good news for St. John's is that they can get in the field without needing to cut down nets at MSG. The bad news is they probably can't take another loss and feel secure in that. Their miserable non-conference made it really difficult to get an at-large, but if they win out, they would add 4-5 wins over teams in the field, including two away from home. There's no margin for error, but with their NCSOS they really can't afford to be close to the bubble because when your best non-con win is Colgate, the Selection Committee won't view your resume favorably.

DePaul Blue, Blue, Blue Demons (12-10/3-9) -- 8 wins: It's St. John's all over. If DePaul wins out, they could get an at-large. There isn't much in the non-con to write home about, but they didn't take any terrible losses there either. The wins over Seton Hall and Xavier are both solid and a winning record in this league with what would be required to win out would have them dancing in Chicago. It's a virtual impossibility, but for now they can cling to virtual reality.

Butler Bulldogs, Georgetown Hoyas -- 4 wins (at MSG): Both teams have amassed too many losses already to have any real case for the Selection Committee. It would take a repeat of Patrick Ewing's 2021 run for either to hear their name called.

Here's the updated S-Curve:

1-Seeds: 1-GONZAGA 2-Auburn 3-Kansas 4-ARIZONA


3-Seeds: 9-VILLANOVA 10-DUKE 11-Wisconsin 12-Texas Tech

4-Seeds: 16-Providence 15-Ucla 14-Illinois 13-Tennessee

5-Seeds: 17-Texas 18-Marquette 19-Lsu 20-Alabama

6-Seeds: 24-Michigan St 23-St. Mary's 22-Arkansas 21-Ohio St

7-Seeds: 25-Connecticut 26-Xavier 27-Seton Hall 28-Indiana

8-Seeds: 32-Usc 31-Tcu 30-Boise St 29-Iowa St

9-Seeds: 33-Wake Forest 34-Iowa 35-WYOMING 36-Colorado St

10-Seeds: 40-Byu 39-LOYOLA CHICAGO 38-Davidson 37-MURRAY ST

11-Seeds: 41-West Virginia 42-Oklahoma 43-San Francisco 44-Oregon 45-Notre Dame

12-Seeds: 50-IONA 49-UAB 48-ST. LOUIS 47-Belmont 46-Creighton






First Four Out: Michigan, Miami, SMU, San Diego St

Next Four Out: North Carolina, VCU, Florida, North Texas

Multi-bid Leagues

Big 12: 8

Big East: 7

Big 10: 7

SEC: 6

Pac-12: 4

WCC: 4

ACC:  3

MWC: 3

A-10: 2

OVC: 2

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