Listen, I like college basketball about the same as the next guy on this website. It’s exciting and March Madness is probably the most exciting time of all. However, when the brackets were released in the dumpster fire known as Selection Sunday this year, I saw something everyone expected but I didn’t like:
Villanova and Xavier, are both No. 1 Seeds in their respected region.
I don’t like it. Not one bit.
“But Garett, both teams are posting over a .800 W/L percentage this year, and Villanova has the most PPG in the entire NCAA Division I! They’re good teams who deserve it!”
No. No they don’t. Here’s why. Sure Villanova and Xavier’s stats LOOK good. But here’s the problem. I feel they play in a weak conference with sub-par teams who don’t provide any challenge to them. I’m going to get statistical on you for a moment, primarily looking at wins and losses, so bear with me.
Villanova 30-4 (14-4 Big East)
Villanova has had some pretty good wins on their schedule, including Xavier twice and Gonzaga. That’s about it. They’ve also had some pretty disgusting losses. All to unranked teams: Butler (20-13, 9-9 Conf.) who has only beaten a single ranked team; Creighton (21-11, 10-8 Conf.), whose only other ranked wins were against Northwestern, UCLA, and Seton Hall, teams that ended up having sub-par and two average seasons, respectively; and Providence (21-13, 10-8 Conf.) whose only ranked wins were against Xavier and Villanova.
Finally, the nail that breaks it for me, St. John’s, who has been known as an upset team, posted a disgusting 16-17, 4-14 (Conf.) record. They’ve only beaten Villanova and Duke, which happened to be in a row. However, they went on an 0-11 conference play streak, only receiving their first win in FEBRUARY. You can say Villanova is good because they’ve demolished every single team they’ve defeated, boasting the highest PPG in the entirety of the NCAA, but that just further proves my point: The Big East is a weak conference.
Xavier 28-5 (15-3 Conf.)
Xavier has been defeated by Villanova both times they’ve played. The Musketeers have also been defeated by Providence twice and Arizona State. Sure, that’s all good and fine since Providence has also defeated Villanova once and Arizona State also beat Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse. But their one notable win in their entire season was against Cincinnati early on. That’s it. Their scoring defense is ranked 237 out of 351, and they have a worse (mind you negative) turnover margin than Oklahoma.
Who deserves the one seeds more than those two?
Purdue 28-6 (15-3 Big Ten)
Purdue has a tougher schedule, their worst loss came from a 53-57 loss to Wisconsin, and their best win came from a dominating 89-64 win against No. 2 Arizona. I feel as if they are more deserving as a No. 1 seed in their region, moving Villanova down to No. 2. Their stats are fairly similar, with only a 2.9 point difference in scoring margin, against tougher teams.
North Carolina 25-10 (11-7 ACC)
Sure, Xavier has a better record, but North Carolina has a tougher schedule. North Carolina, statistically, has a better turnover margin, allows less opponent PPG, and by god are they just fun to watch. I would easily replace North Carolina as the No. 1 Seed again, just like Villanova, only moving them down to the No. 2 spot.