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Big East Tiers: 3/5/18 edition

So we took a month off between updating these posts. Yea, my bad. But we got the final one in, so let’s forget about February and move along.

As always, this chart and all stats come from TRank.

Here is what the map looks like on the morning of 3/5/2018:

Final.jpg

Tier 1 – Villanova

Villanova wasn’t able to claim the Big East title this season, but their numbers were still head and shoulders above the rest of the conference, and that was with half of their team seemingly breaking their hands at some point or another. They will be a 2-seed at worst in the dance and, with a healthy Booth and Paschall, have a realistic shot at the title.

Tier 2 – Xavier, Creighton, Butler, Seton Hall

Xavier’s metrics weren’t eye-popping, but all they did was win the regular season title. There is also clear separation between Xavier and the next 3 teams, so it’s not like they overachieved tremendously. They were a very good team that took care of business every night. The two blowouts against Nova do give me pause about them in the Tourney, though.

The jumble in the metrics matches the jumble in the standings for the next 3. On any given night, any one of this teams can win or lose against any team above or below it. All 3 are pretty safely in at the moment, though seeding will be really interesting. Butler has the best wins but a worse record than the others. The results of the BET may have a huge impact on all 3 of these teams.

Tier 3 – Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Georgetown

Providence was the 7th best team according to the metrics, but finished 3rd in the conference. A perfectly microcosm of their season as a whole. Beat Nova and Xavier handily, barely hold off Brown and get blown out by DePaul. The big wins will give them the edge over Marquette on Selection Sunday, but depending on how heavily the committee weighs bad losses, it may weight them down with a 1-done at MSG. Marquette was significantly. better than the next 3 teams metrics wise, but finished 7th in the standings. MU will need at least a win over DePaul to stay in the conversation, but won’t feel secure on Sunday without a win over Villanova. Expect a lot of lobbying from Broeker’s account this week.

The Johnnies and Hoyas displayed some really high level stretches, with 2 weeks of pure magic from Ponds propelling St. John’s to the highest of highs. Both are out of any postseason play contention barring a title celebration at MSG, but have some really intriguing pieces for next year depending on if Govan and Ponds stay or go pro.

Tier 4 – DePaul

The Blue Demons are ranked 99 at Trank this season, their best finish since 2008 (104) and played teams very well down the stretch. In fact, they have been the 82nd best team since Feb. 1. They do lose a big piece in Marin Maric next season, but they weren’t the DePaul of old this year. Something for Marquette fans to keep in mind this Wednesday.

This final week of the season will be crucial in terms of the NCAA Tournament, in a way it hasn’t been for quite some time. It’s conceivable to see anywhere from 4 to 7 teams make the big dance. I still think 6 is a pretty good bet, but a few bid stealers and early flameouts could quickly alter the equation. Buckle in, it’s going to be a wild finish. 

 

 

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