No team has ever reached the NCAA tournament after losing each of its last five games to end the season. Don’t worry, Villanova fans. The ’Cats will be the first team to do so.
Villanova is fortunate that the field expanded to 68 teams and that many of the bubble teams have weak resumes. That makes Villanova’s 34 RPI and six top-50 wins — including wins over Syracuse, Louisville, West Virginia, Cincinnati, UCLA and Temple — look pretty strong.
Although the ’Cats finished with a 9-9 Big East record and a loss in the opening round of the Big East tournament, the selection committee can’t ignore the positives.
“I purposely haven’t followed any of it,” said Villanova coach Jay Wright, referring to his team’s NCAA tournament hopes. “We focused on getting ourselves better. And we purposely haven’t talked about any of it.”
When all is said and done, the ’Cats are likely to nab a seed somewhere in the 8-to-10 range. That means they would be matched up with a No. 1 or 2 seed in the second round.
“I really don’t know where we stand with any of that,” Wright said. “I would say there’s a little concern.”