This post will be updated as the games get completed.
At what point do we start talking about Providence (KenPom: 59, RPI: 37, CBT Bracketology Seed: 8) potentially missing the NCAA tournament?
After their loss to Seton Hall on Thursday night is probably too early, right? I mean, they lost to a top 50 opponent on the road. Those aren’t the kind of losses that will kill a résumé.
But losing to DePaul, however, will. Losing to Marquette twice certainly doesn’t help either. Neither does the fact that, with the exception of their win at Villanova, all of Providence’s Big East wins look worse today than they did a month ago. They swept Georgetown … who is the most disappointing team in college basketball. They swept Butler … who might miss the NCAA tournament. They won at Creighton … who might fall out of the top 100 by the time Selection Sunday rolls around.
Providence has two top 50 wins — at Villanova (which is one of the best wins anyone in the country can currently claim — and Arizona on a neutral court. But they’re 2-5 against the top 50 with three sub-100 losses.
They’ve done enough, as of today, to get into the tournament.
But the issue is that they’re playing terrible basketball right now.
The Friars have lost five of their last six and six of their last eight, and now they head into a stretch of their schedule that is nothing but landmines. They get DePaul at home, Creighton at home and have to play at St. John’s. Win two of those three and Providence is five. Win one of the three and the Friars should still be OK with at least one Big East tournament win.
The problem is that the Friars are broken right now. So this stretch can either get them back into a rhythm for a run in March … or relegate them to the NIT.
- Seton Hall (KP: 34, RPI: 43, CBT: 9): Seton Hall’s win over Providence on Thursday probably isn’t enough to get them into lock status, but it does put them into a spot where they can punch their ticket with a win over Xavier on Sunday.
- UConn (KP: 25, RPI: 39, CBT: 9): The Huskies beat South Florida on Thursday night, which is significant if only because they didn’t lose to South Florida. This doesn’t help their profile at all.
- Gonzaga (KP: 35, RPI: 66, CBT: First Four Out): I don’t think Gonzaga has a shot at getting an at-large bid at all. There are people that still have the Zags close to the cut line, however, so I’ll include them here for now. Winning at BYU on Saturday is a must if they’re going to have any chance whatsoever.
- Saint Mary’s (KP: 39, RPI: 57, CBT: 10): Like Gonzaga, I just don’t see it with Saint Mary’s. But like I said, there are people that have them on the right side of the cut line. I would strongly recommend winning the automatic bid for both of those teams.
- Florida State (KP: 58, RPI: 76, CBT: N/A): The Seminoles may have just punched their ticket to the NIT. After losing to Duke on Thursday, Florida State probably needs to win the automatic bid if they want to dance.