Big East Bubble Watch: Volume II

Posted by Justin Kundrat on March 5th, 2019

We’re now closing in on two weeks remaining until Selection Sunday, and the Big East as a whole continues to completely cannibalize itself. All of the remaining games at this point are virtually must-watch TV and will be critical in determining which teams are dancing come March. All figures below are from

Only Two Big East Teams are NCAA Locks (USA Today Images)


Villanova: 22-8 (13-4); NET: 25; SOS: 14

Marquette: 23-6 (12-4); NET: 26; SOS: 38

  • Analysis: These two teams have been a mainstay in the national polls and very little could happen to knock them out of NCAA Tournament consideration over the next two weeks. Marquette is currently 9-4 against Quadrant 1 opponents, while Villanova is 4-6, and neither team has a Quadrant 3 or 4 loss on its resume. Both teams will be fighting for favorable seeding down the stretch, with a best case scenario being a #3 seed for Marquette and a #5 seed for Villanova. Despite some hiccups, a Big East championship crown should grant the above to one of these two teams.

Should Be In

St. John’s: 20-10 (8-9); NET: 61; SOS: 65.

  • Analysis: St. John’s has done everything in its power to knock itself out of NCAA Tournament contention over the last couple weeks. Since Volume I of the bubble watch, the Red Storm have gone 1-3, accumulating losses to Providence (by 19), Xavier (by 11) and DePaul (by 9). That’s certainly not the kind of performance one would expect from an NCAA-quality team, and their defensive efficiency metrics in the last two games are far and away the worst on the season. That said, St. John’s still owns six Quadrant 1 wins and a gaudy enough record to keep them above the cut line. It is imperative to win at Xavier this Saturday, or things could get interesting.

Not Quite There

Seton Hall: 16-9 (7-6); NET: 60; SOS: 39. 

  • Analysis: Seton Hall has dropped all three of its games since the last edition of this post, falling from 7-6 in conference play to 7-9. Luckily though, the Pirates’ margin of defeat in those losses was narrow and, as a result, their NET rating has only fallen three spots from #60 to #63. Moreover, Seton Hall’s non-conference wins over Kentucky and Maryland have aged as well as any bubble team could ask for, leaving the Pirates with a 10-10 record against Quadrant 1 and 2 opponents. According to, Seton Hall is currently the first team out, but perhaps the best reason for optimism is its remaining schedule: it gets both Marquette and Villanova at home in its final two games, giving it a prime opportunity (or two) to bolster its resume and seal an NCAA Tournament berth for the fourth consecutive year.

On the Fringe

Creighton: 15-13 (7-9); NET: 49; SOS: 13

Xavier: 16-13 (8-8); NET: 70; SOS: 45

Georgetown: 18-11 (8-8); NET: 72; SOS: 89

  • Analysis: Butler has since fallen out of this category, but late season surges have propelled the above three teams into the conversation. Creighton has won its last three games, including a road victory at Marquette with surprisingly strong computer metrics. Xavier is now winners of its last five games, improving from 3-8 in conference play to 8-8, and is undoubtedly one of the hottest teams in the country. It is imperative that they win both of their remaining games (at Butler, vs. St. John’s), but the situation is worth monitoring. Georgetown also has won three of its last four to get to 8-8 in the Big East but is in a similar situation. It needs every win it can get to improve its NET rating and erase any lingering doubts of selection committee members. As of today, none of these teams are in the field, but the possibility remains so they are all worth monitoring.
Justin Kundrat (175 Posts)

Villanova grad, patiently waiting another 10 years for season tickets. Follow Justin on twitter @JustinKundrat or email him at

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