Saturday, March 15, 2008

Making a case for Nova

Villanova should make the NCAA Tournament field of 65, and here are my reasons why:
  • RPI:51, SOS:45, Overall record: 20-12, Last 11 games: 7-4
  • Quality wins over tournament/bubble teams:
    1. UConn 2/23
    2. Pitt 1/6
    3. West Virginia 2/20
    4. George Mason 11/23
    5. Temple 12/9
    6. Syracuse 1/19, 3/12
  • Two last second foul calls that cost Villanova the game:
    1. NC State 11/25 - Without the foul call Villanova would have won the Old Spice Classic and finished undefeated in preseason non-conference play.
    2. Georgetown 2/11 - Villanova could have gone to overtime with the chance to get a marquee road victory against a top-ten team in the nation.
  • Villanova finished 9-9 in the Big East Conference, and 1-1 in the Big East Tournament. From top to bottom, the Big East is the most competitive conference in the country. Most mid-majors that are being considered over Villanova would have a very difficult time finishing at .500 in the Big East. These include teams like Illinois St., South Alabama, St. Mary's, UNLV, New Mexico, and VCU.
  • Villanova has some bad losses: DePaul, Cincinnati, Rutgers, and St. Joe's; but these were all on the road where it is always tough to get a win in the Big East. In the case of St. Joe's, Villanova was in the midst of a five game losing streak and suffering from an identity crisis. They are a different team now, and if Villanova played the Hawks today, especially on a neutral site, there would be a very different outcome.
  • Most other bubble teams are weak this year, with a majority of them failing to win even one game in their conference tournaments. These teams include: Oregon, Arizona St., UMass, Ohio St., Arizona, Baylor, Dayton, Florida, and Ole Miss.
With that said, some bracketologists don't have Villanova in the field of 65. Wildcat players and fans will have to keep their fingers crossed on Selection Sunday. Covergae starts at 6:00 pm on CBS.

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