Villanova did not have that great of a record, yet they still managed to make the dance. The Wildcats were 20-13 entering the tournament and their conference record was not out of this world amazing, although so many Big East teams tend to make it, with this season being no different.
Villanova finished Big Eats play with a 10-8 record, which had them tied for seventh place in the conference standings. However, if it weren’t for the three big wins on the season against the Syracuse Orange, Louisville Cardinals and Georgetown Hoyas, Villanova would have been playing in the NIT. Yes, those are all three huge wins and the Wildcats definitely deserved to be in the dance, but there were teams that were better that could have made an argument to make the tourney.
One of those teams was the Kentucky Wildcats. I truly thought that Kentucky could have made a lot of noise in the dance and that they were a better team than Villanova. However, a first round loss in the NIT pretty much killed that argument. Kentucky still had a slightly better record at 21-10 entering postseason play, but the victories against Florida, Missouri and Ole Miss were not as good as beating three top five teams (at the time), like Villanova did.
However, Villanova received a No. 9 seed, which shows that it was not even being considered a bubble team and Kentucky didn’t even make the dance.
I thought both of these teams deserved a place in the dance, but the quality wins that Villanova had on the season meant everything for it.
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