Bracket Watch: Villanova's résumé looks every bit like a No. 1 seed
Every time I've posted a new bracket these past several weeks, a few Wisconsin fans have needled me about keeping Gonzaga above their beloved Badgers for the fourth No. 1 seed. It's a fair argument . . . but a more convincing case is that of 26-2 Villanova.
Even before Maryland handed Wisconsin its third loss of the season this week, Villanova sat No. 5 on my overall seed list (the top No. 2 seed), and it just keeps building its résumé. As runaway leaders in a deep Big East, the Wildcats have racked up an impressive nine wins against RPI top-50 foes, one fewer than Kentucky and Duke and the same as Virginia. And Villanova can add another if it wins this weekend at Xavier.
Ultimately, I do believe Gonzaga will land a No. 1 seed if it wins out to go 33-1, despite a weaker conference schedule than the other competitors. The committee does watch games, after all, not to mention Gonzaga is No. 2 overall in the coaches poll and No. 3 in AP.
But a lot could change between now and Selection Sunday. Duke and Virginia have tough remaining games before the ACC tournament. If a spot does open up on the 1-seed line, Villanova is the logical next in line, barring an early Big East tournament exit.
Editor's note: The bracket sets up as East vs. South, Midwest vs. West. It's based on games played through Feb. 26. Projected automatic berths (*) go to the current first-place team in each conference (in cases of first-place ties, the higher-rated RPI team gets the nod).
Selection Sunday is March 15.
First four out: Stanford, Tulsa, Pittsburgh, BYU
|East Region (Syracuse)|
|1||Virginia* (ACC)||at Charlotte|
|16||St. Francis NY* (Northeast)/Sacramento State* (Big Sky)|
|8||Indiana (Big Ten)|
|4||Baylor (Big 12)||at Seattle|
|12||Stephen F. Austin* (Southland)|
|6||SMU* (AAC)||at Portland|
|11||Texas (Big 12)|
|14||UC Davis* (Big West)|
|7||Ole Miss (SEC)||at Pittsburgh|
|10||Purdue (Big Ten)|
|2||Villanova* (Big East)|
|15||William & Mary* (Colonial)|