This is part of a series of posts going up on December 26. Let's look back at everyone's performance in the non-conference schedule and take inventory on where everyone is at.
Don't look now, but the teams in here are racking up good W-Ls. The conference will likely be spreading around some computer profile goodness to each other.
Villanova (12-0) has separated from the rest. The non-con SoS (hovering around 150) might be an issue when going for a top seed, but they've got enough quality wins (N-VCU, N-Illinois, Syracuse) to deal with that later.
Butler (9-3) has emerged to give the league depth. The SoS might be an issue (Atlantis can only help so much), but having N-UNC and N-G'town on the resume is a good start. They need resume depth, but they have a chance at getting it in this conference. The other emerger is St John's (9-1), who have a top 50 SoS to pair with no bad losses and some good wins (@Syracuse, St Mary's, Minny).
Among the expected contenders, Georgetown (7-3) should be okay. Very good non-con SoS numbers, and the losses are N-Butler and top 10 teams. They do need a better win than N-Florida, though. Xavier (8-3) should also be fine. Solid SoS can help mask the issue their signature win is...Alabama? And they lost neutral site games to LBSU and UTEP. And @Auburn! Actually this is worse than I thought. The good news is the problems are very fixable in conference play.
Seton Hall (9-2) is a bubble team. A SoS that's just okay, one quality win (GWU), and no bad losses. Your pretty typical profile. Providence (10-3) is another likely bubble team with a pretty decent SoS, but their losses are quite marginal (Brown, @BC in a bad 2-game stretch).
In total, among the 6 teams behind 'Nova, I have to imagine 3 or 4 make it, but I think conference play will play a bigger role in identifying those teams than typical.
At the bottom, the air is out of the balloon at Creighton (9-4). Bad SoS numbers, bad losses (@North Texas, @Tulsa, @Ole Miss) erase the Oklahoma win, and the win @Nebraska has disintegrated into nothing. Marquette (7-4) wasn't expected to do much, and doesn't have a win to back up any chance at contention. DePaul (6-7) is still DePaul.