Sunday, February 3, 2019

Bubble Watch - Big East


Marquette (19-3) (8-1) NET 18 SoS 60
Vital signs:  5-3 R/N, non-con SoS 101, 6-3 vs. Quad 1, 3-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 134
Signature wins:  Wisky, N-Louisville, Buffalo
Bad losses:  @Indiana might not age well

Everything is in order here.  SoS is a touch too high, signature wins aren’t quite signature enough, to make a run at a 1 seed, but that is probably of little concern.  Safely in the protected seed category for now.

Villanova (18-4) (9-0) NET 20 SoS 20
Vital signs:  9-2 R/N, non-con SoS 19, 3-2 vs. Quad 1, 7-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 119
Signature wins:  N-FSU, @Butler, @Creighton?
Bad losses:  @Penn, Furman?

The good news first – both “bad losses” are quad 2 losses, so no real reason to panic.  Quality SoS numbers, legitimately great road/neutral numbers (4 neutral site win in there), which mitigate any concern of the actual road losses.  They’re forgivable given the quantity of wins in there.  The bad news though is the signature win category.  That’s not a lot of left, and you can argue home wins over St Johns and Seton Hall represent their only wins over tourney competition to date.  Their seed line will need some help.


St John’s (16-6) (4-5) NET 45 SoS 66
Vital signs:  6-4 R/N, non-con SoS 192, 3-4 vs. Quad 1, 4-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 171
Signature wins:  Marquette, N-VCU, @Creighton?
Bad losses:  Georgetown and DePaul at home

Non-con SoS is middling, and the avg win is downright troublesome.  This is your prototypical bubble resume.  One signature win as the pillar, just good enough on the road to show competency, no real depth of wins.  Problem is that the conference doesn’t offer too many wins over lock tournament teams, so every game over .500 they get in conference is very valuable for them.

Seton Hall (13-9) (4-6) NET 68 SoS 27
Vital signs:  6-6 R/N, non-con SoS 54, 2-5 vs. Quad 1, 4-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 124
Signature wins:  N-Kentucky, @Maryland, St John’s
Bad losses:  St Louis?  DePaul?

They’re 4-0 on neutral sites, so just 2 road wins.  They’ve played sufficient games against top-tier competition, and won the bare minimum of them to feel like contenders right now.  That signature win over UK is carrying everything right now.  2 of the losses at @Marq and @Nova, so home chances against them are looming.  They can still make the tourney losing both, but it feels more and more like they need one more signature win to feel safe.

Butler (13-10) (4-6) NET 55 SoS 23
Vital signs:  3-7 R/N, non-con SoS 50, 1-6 vs. Quad 1, 5-3 vs. Quad 2, avg win 120
Signature wins:  N-Florida, St John’s?  Seton Hall?
Bad losses:  G’town, N-Dayton?

Nothing is too flagrant on its own, but the sum of their resume is a problem.  What I mean:  the raw number of losses do matter, and 1-6 against Quad 1 matters.  You have to cash in a minimum of those opportunities, and Butler hasn’t done it enough yet.  One more problem is that they’ve already spent their home games against Marquette and Nova.  Also, their only true road win is DePaul right now.

Creighton (12-9) (4-5) NET 64 SoS 9
Vital signs:  5-4 R/N, non-con SoS 16, 0-7 vs. Quad 1, 5-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 128
Signature wins:  Butler, @Provi?  N-Clemson?
Bad losses:  St John’s is the worst

The extreme example of the good bad team – beat everyone you’re supposed to, lose to everyone you’re supposed to.  The SoS is there, which means this bubble resume comes down to the simple task of getting quality wins (duh!).  Beat somebody, beat anybody, Creighton.  There’s room for you at the inn if you do.

Providence (13-9) (3-6) NET 79 SoS 76
Vital signs:  4-6 R/N, non-con SoS 172, 1-4 vs. Quad 1, 3-3 vs. Quad 2, avg win 164
Signature wins:  @Texas, SHU, @Xavier?
Bad losses:  UMass, N-Wichita

A courtesy listing, barely made the list.

Georgetown (14-8) (4-5) NET 82 SoS 87
Vital signs:  4-4 R/N, non-con SoS 234, 2-3 vs. Quad 1, 3-3 vs. Quad 2, avg win 166
Signature wins:  @St John’s, @Butler, Liberty?
Bad losses:  SMU, N-LMU

Almost didn’t list them either, but hey:  two road Quad 1 wins are on the board, so it’s not an impossible road for them to the tourney.  Obvious non-con SoS is hurting them.

Off the board:
You can make an argument to list all 10 teams on the bubble, but nah.  Xavier is under .500, and DePaul has a non-con SoS of 348.  They’ll have to play spoiler for now.

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