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Bubble Watch: Win Over Georgetown Helps Villanova’s Chances at NCAA Tournament

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Crazy things happen in college basketball come March.

We”ve been seeing top-10 and top-five teams losing games left and right over the last few weeks. The trend continues this week as No. 2 Indiana lost last night and No. 5 Georgetown was dropped tonight at the hands of bubble team Villanova.

After getting off to a 4-5 record in Big East play, Villanova has won six of their last nine conference games, finishing the season at 19-12 (10-8). While those numbers don’t exactly scream NCAA Tournament worthy–and neither does the 55th best RPI in the country, which will change after the win over Georgetown is factored in–it’s the wins that Jay Wright‘s relatively young team has scored that really stand out.

While Nova got off to a pretty weak start, especially considering their toughest opponents out of Big East play were Vanderbilt, Alabama and Temple, they’ll finish in the top half of their difficult conference with a chance at continuing their improved play in the always competitive Big East tournament.

So to what point do we fault Villanova for not having a more difficult non-conference schedule? I mean, it’s not like they didn’t play four games against ranked opponents, three of which came against top five teams.

Are wins over No. 5 Georgetown, (then) No. 5 Louisville and (then) No. 3 Syracuse–all at home–good enough to land a 19-win team in the most coveted tournament in the history of sport? How about another win over a ranked and surging Marquette team?

As is the case for most bubble teams, I think Nova’s tournament chances depend on what kind of damage they can do in the Big East tournament. However, if they don’t have success and another bubble team falls flat on their face, I wouldn’t rule a Wildcats dance party out of the equation.

For hoops, hip-hop and other random sports and pop culture commentary, follow Jared Mintz on Twitter @JaredMintzTruth

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NCAA Basketball Videos

NCAA Tournament Profile: St. John's Red Storm

Record: 21-11

RPI: 37

BPI: 51

Conference: Big East Conference

How They Qualified: At-Large Berth

Region: No. 9 seed in South

 

The St. John’s Red Storm have been a tough puzzle to solve ever since Steve Lavin took over as head coach. Lavin has recruited like a boss, but his teams simply have not met expectations. Well, his team didn’t blow us all away this year, but it will be partaking in the 2015 NCAA tournament. It is all about those baby steps.

This is the Red Storm’s first appearance since 2011. Needless to say, the team was well overdue.

 

What You Need to Know:

Leading Scorer: D’Angelo Harrison (17.5 PPG)

Leading Rebounder: Sir’Dominic Pointer (7.6 RPG)

Leading Passer: Rysheed Jordan (3.1 APG)

Bad Losses: DePaul, Creighton, Seton Hall

Good Wins: Providence (twice), Xavier (twice), Syracuse, Georgetown

 

If everything comes together, St. John’s could be one of the biggest surprises of the tournament. That may be asking for a lot, though. This team did lose 11 times on the season.

If you are looking for a player who can score at will, look no further than D’Angelo Harrison. Harrison is a senior, so you better believe he will be playing every game like it is his last because … well, every game could realistically be his last. Fun fact: Harrison has averaged over 16 points per game all four years at St. John’s — he is the real deal, folks.

St. John’s wasn’t the most consistent team in the country, so it will be interesting to see which Red Storm team shows up — the one that lost three in a row at one point, or the one that started the season off with an 11-1 record.

The St. John’s Red Storm are dancing!

Trevor Lowry is a Content Associate at RantSports.com. If you’re a tweeter feel free to follow him @TheTrevorLowry, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

Will this finally be the year that Steve Lavin coaches his St. John's Red Storm on a deep run? Whether the case, they enter the dance with some talent.

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