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Where Villanova stands heading into Selection Sunday

With the loss to Marquette on Thursday, Villanova missed another chance to show the committee that they still deserve a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. Now a lot more is up in the air and in the committee’s hands.

One of the things still working in the Wildcats’ favor is that due to rules about placing teams in the bracket, they cannot face a Big East team until the Elite Eight. It will be a welcome change of scenery for a team that clearly needs it.

With Selection Sunday creeping closer, Villanova’s seed and location seem to be the biggest question marks right now, so let’s briefly take a look at both.

1) Seed: Yesterday there was a very good chance that the Wildcats would wind up a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament. However, early conference tournament losses by New Mexico, Wisconsin and Michigan State have Villanova most likely in position to finish with a No. 3 seed right now.

There’s some talk that the Wildcats could wind up as a high as a No. 2, but that has a lot to do with Purdue. If the Boilermakers lose Saturday to Minnesota, the selection committee may feel that without Robbie Hummel, they are more suited for a No. 3 seed. If that happens, Villanova, Pitt and Tennessee could be in line to move up to a No. 2.

Projection: No. 3 seed

2) First weekend location: The goal all season has been Providence, and it is still a realistic possibility, but by suffering their late season skid, the Wildcats now have left the choice up to the committee. Basically, it will be three teams for two spots in Providence, and those teams are Villanova, Pittsburgh and Georgetown. Things get even more interesting if Georgetown wins the Big East title.

Pittsburgh should be there regardless. It finished second in the Big East regular season standings and beat Villanova, Syracuse and West Virginia, the other three of the top-4 teams in the conference.

Where I think Villanova gets the nod over Georgetown is in conference play. The Hoyas finished eighth in the Big East with a 10-8 record. Marquette, Louisville and Notre Dame all finished higher. Also, Georgetown’s losses to USF and Rutgers are worse than any loss Villanova has.

If the Hoyas win tonight, things might change, but beating West Virginia will be very difficult, especially considering Georgetown will be going for its fifth straight Big East win after winning no more than two in a row during the season.

If the Wildcats don’t wind up in Providence, expect them to either be in Jacksonille or New Orleans.

Projection: Providence

– David Cassilo

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