As the Big East Tournament is set to get underway, the Big East is looking like it could send as many as seven teams to the 2020 NCAA Tournament.
Where will those teams be seeded, though? That part is still up in the air. But, thanks to KenPom, NET Rankings, and BracketMatrix, we can get a bit of a look as to where things stand prior to the Big East Tournament. Let’s dive in.
Record: 24-7, 13-5 Big East)
Average BracketMatrix Seed: 2.4
Good Wins: Texas Tech, Arizona State, Butler, Villanova, Seton Hall (2x), Marquette (2x)
The Bluejays come into the Big East Tournament as the #1 seed for the first time ever by virtue of finishing first in the three-way tiebreaker with Villanova and Seton Hall. Creighton amassed a 24-7 regular season record, and are 10-2 since January 18. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the ‘Jays, is that they really don’t have bad losses this season. Creighton’s “worst” loss per KenPom was last week’s loss to St. John’s. The Red Storm are very good at Carnesecca Arena and things happen in conference play.
The one thing that could harm the Bluejays this week is the status of Marcus Zegarowski. Zegarowski suffered a meniscus injury near the end of Creighton’s win over Seton Hall and is doubtful for Thursday’s Big East Tournament opener per the school.
Despite the injury to Zegarowski, Creighton should be set with a 2-seed if they’re able to win the Big East Tournament, because they’ll likely have to go through two more NCAA Tournament teams to do such. If the Bluejays are unable to win the Big East Tournament, they’ll likely be a 3-seed.
Record: 24-7 (13-5 Big East)
Average BracketMatrix Seed: 2.23
Good Wins: Kansas, Creighton, Seton Hall, Butler, Marquette, Xavier
As is often the case, Jay Wright’s Wildcats took care of business this season and ended up with a portion of the Big East regular season championship. Their December win over likely #1 overall seed Kansas has aged spectacularly for the Wildcats, and they’re likely in a similar boat as Creighton, where if they win the Big East Tournament they will likely be a 2-seed, but if the Wildcats bow out early they will likely fall to a 3-seed.
Record: 21-9 (13-5 Big East)
Average BracketMatrix Seed: 3.30
Good Wins: Villanova, Xavier, Butler (2x), Marquette (2x)
The past couple weeks have likely done no favors for the Pirates, who had two chances at an outright Big East regular season champion, in addition for an opportunity for two more good wins (Villanova, Creighton), and lost both. As such, a 3-seed feels right for Myles Powell and the Pirates, but Seton Hall is almost in a better situation for elevation than Villanova or Creighton are, in that the Pirates will potentially play three games against NCAA Tournament teams instead a team like Creighton or ‘Nova that could only see two NCAA Tournament opponents depending on how Wednesday night’s Big East Tournament games go.
Not unlike Creighton and Villanova, Seton Hall can probably jump to a 2-seed with a Big East Tournament title.
Record: 19-12 (12-6 Big East)
Average BracketMatrix Seed: 8.35
Good Wins: Creighton, Villanova, Seton Hall, Butler Marquette (2x)
Bad Losses: Long Beach State, College of Charleston, Northwestern, Penn
Now that we’re past the three-way first place tie, this post is about to get fun and wacky. It’s amazing that Providence is in this discussion in the first place, considering how poorly things went for them in the nonconference portion of the season. As he so often does, though, Ed Cooley turned on the magic in Big East play.
An 8-seed feels right for the Friars right now, but opening the Big East Tournament with a second win over Butler could bump Providence to a 7-seed. A Big East Tournament title would likely get the Friars as high as a 5-seed.
Record: 22-9 (10-8 Big East)
Average BracketMatrix Seed: 5.01
Good Wins: Creighton, Villanova, Providence, Marquette, Xavier, Florida, Purdue, Stanford
Bad Losses: DePaul
Had this been six weeks ago, we would likely be talking about the Bulldogs grabbing the fourth 1-seed. After a 15-1 start to the season, Butler bottomed out a bit before righting the ship and ending conference play with three straight victories. Kamar Baldwin has had a knack for making big plays in big moments throughout his collegiate career, and if Butler could take down Providence on Thursday to advance to the Big East Tournament quarterfinal for just their second time ever, the Bulldogs could see themselves as a 4-seed come Selection Sunday.
Record: 18-12 (8-10 Big East)
Average BracketMatrix Seed: 8.82
Good Wins: Villanova, Butler, USC
Bad Losses: DePaul
Yet again, we have a team that we would be talking drastically differently about had we been writing this a month ago. Following February 9th’s victory over Butler, Marquette were 17-6 and 7-4 in Big East play. ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi had the Golden Eagles as a 5-seed following the win, and it seemed like things could get even better for a talented Marquette squad.
The bottom fell out in a huge way. Marquette went 1-6 to finish the season. While they still appear to be safely in the NCAA Tournament as of right now, likely as a 9-seed, a Big East Tournament opening loss to Seton Hall and a bid theft or two in other conferences could make Selection Sunday a real sweat for Markus Howard and the Golden Eagles, pushing them down to the First Four in Dayton as an 11-seed, or dropping them from the NCAA Tournament entirely. The age old question of the NCAA Tournament is simple: Should a team be included in the field if they have a losing record in conference play? Marquette doesn’t have too many bad losses, but you would imagine they definitely would be feeling a lot better had they not lost to DePaul and St. John’s to end the season.
Record: 19-12 (8-10 Big East)
Average BracketMatrix Seed: 10.67
Good Wins: Cincinnati, Seton Hall, Providence
The Musketeers come into the Big East Tournament with perhaps the most to gain of any Big East team, as it seems like they’re firmly on the bubble right now and may be playing in the First Four in Dayton. To Xavier’s credit, they likely can play off the bubble with a win over DePaul, as it’s hard to imagine the committee not taking a 20-win power conference team in a season with a weak bubble like this. Xavier will likely be a 10-seed with one more win, and an 11-seed playing in Dayton with a loss.
Record: (15-16, 5-13)
Average BracketMatrix Seed: N/A
Good Wins: Oklahoma State, Creighton, Butler
Bad Losses: UNC Greensboro, DePaul
What an up and down year for the Hoyas. After recovering fairly well from the departure of James Akinjo and finishing nonconference play strong, Georgetown never really found its footing in Big East play, made worse by the face that Mac McClung missed nine of the Hoyas’ last ten games with an injured foot and Omer Yurtseven missed six of the last seven. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Georgetown enters the Big East Tournament on a six-game losing streak.
The Hoyas will not make the NCAA Tournament unless they win the Big East Tournament.
Record: 16-15 (5-13 Big East)
Average BracketMatrix Seed: N/A
Good Wins: Arizona, Creighton
Bad Losses: Vermont
Despite likely missing the NCAA Tournament, MIke Anderson’s first year in Queens was a success, as he finished with a winning season, as he has done every other time in his career. The Red Storm could have perhaps been a Tournament team had Mustapha Heron not been injured twice, the second time costing him his season and collegiate career. Regardless, the Red Storm showed that Anderson’s famous pressure defense can still work and be a lot of fun to watch.
Barring a miraculous run on their home court at the Big East Tournament, St. John’s will not be in the NCAA Tournament.
Record: 15-16 (3-15 Big East)
Average BracketMatrix Seed: N/A
Good Wins: Iowa, Texas Tech, Minnesota, Butler, Marquette
Bad Losses: Buffalo
Oh, DePaul. After one of the best nonconference seasons in school history, it felt like finally the Blue Demons were set to break through and maybe even end their NCAA Tournament drought. DePaul instead went 3-15 in conference play, the final loss being by 38 points to Providence on the last day of the Big East season.
The Blue Demons looked like two different teams in 2019-20, and one would imagine a loss to Xavier in Wednesday night’s Big East Tournament opener would lead to a ton of questions about the job status of head coach Dave Leitao.
Barring a miraculous run, DePaul will not be in the NCAA Tournament.