Two Big East teams are going to present significant conundrums —- at least in terms of seeding —- to the NCAA tournament selection committee this weekend.
One is Villanova, a bunch whose free-falling ways no doubt make them Tom Petty‘s team of choice this March. Yet for all the manufactured angst, the Wildcats have at least seven victories over NCAA tournament teams and could add two more if Bucknell and Boston University win their respective conference tournaments. They have a winning road record, winning records against the top 100 and top 200 and six top-50 wins.
For their overall work, the Wildcats are in.
Then there’s Georgetown, which is winless sans point guard Chris Wright. The Hoyas say Wright (broken hand) will be back for the NCAA tournament. But how can the committee know for sure?
Like Villanova, Georgetown is safely in the NCAA tournament field. Yet as a clearly different team with an injury issue, the Hoyas are likely to see their seeding adjusted enormously.
And (no pun intended) rightfully so.
In 27 games with Wright healthy, Georgetown (21-10) was 21-6 and managed a point per possession in 21 of those games. Only once —- in a loss to Notre Dame —- did the Hoyas dip below 0.95 points per possession.
In short, they played like a team with a talented, veteran backcourt capable of consistently forcing opponents to play at a high level if Georgetown was to be toppled.
Without Wright? Well, cover your eyes, Hoyas fans:
Yuck. Considering Wednesday’s blowout loss to Connecticut in the Big East tournament was high tide, double yuck.
The Hoyas’ skid wouldn’t necessarily be a dagger on its own. Their profile, with a full roster, is still worthy of roughly a No. 5 seed. St. John’s can still make a case for a No. 4 seed, and Georgetown compares quite similarly to the Red Storm.
But Wright’s absence complicates things, and it would be no surprise if Georgetown tumbles down to a No. 7 seed —- as is the case in a forthcoming bracket projection.
—- Patrick Stevens