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.
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