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Villanova Basketball: Analyzing the Wildcats' NCAA Tournament Resume

Joe TanseyFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 1, 2017

Villanova Basketball: Analyzing the Wildcats' NCAA Tournament Resume

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    The final three weeks of the Villanova Wildcats season will be a tumultuous ride as they are on the verge of a clinching a berth in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

    The Wildcats were not expected to do much this season with a core filled with young players. 

    After exceeding their season expectations, the Wildcats are now searching for the seventh NCAA Tournament berth in the Wright era.

    Here is the complete tournament resume for the Wildcats. 

Where They Currently Stand

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    Record: 18-10 (9-6)

    The Wildcats have won three consecutive games to boost themselves up into eighth place in the Big East standings. 

    With three games left on the schedule, reaching 20 wins in the regular season must be done for the Wildcats to be in good shape come Selection Sunday. 

    The Wildcats have shown in the past week that they are fully capable of playing their best towards the end of the season and they will have to do just that to solidify a spot in the final 68.

Key Wins

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    Key Wins: January 22 vs. Louisville, January 26 vs. Syracuse, February 23 vs. Marquette

    The three biggest wins of the Wildcats' season came in Big East play against ranked opposition. 

    Villanova took down Louisville and Syracuse in consecutive games at home while they defeated Marquette at the Pavilion over the weekend as well.

    While the three victories did come against ranked teams, they did come at home and not on the road.

    A road victory would have meant more to the NCAA Tournament hopes of the Wildcats. 

Key Losses

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    Key Losses: November 20 vs. Columbia, November 25 at La Salle, December 5 vs. Temple, February 3 vs. Providence

    There are not many years where close losses in Big Five play could hurt the resume of the Wildcats but it could this season.

    Both Temple and La Salle are vying for an at-large spot in the NCAA Tournament and they are currently on the bubble with Villanova. 

    Head-to-head matchups still carry a bit of meaning when the selection committee determines the field of 68 and the losses to Temple and La Salle could hurt the Wildcats.

    Two other brutal losses that the Wildcats suffered came against Columbia and Providence, both came at home. 

    The Wildcats should have easily defeated both teams and if they had won those games, we may not be having a conversation about them being on the bubble. 

RPI

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    RPI: 52

    Villanova has a strong RPI because of its membership in the Big East. 

    Having a high RPI will benefit the Wildcats to some degree, but if you compare their RPI to a few other bubble teams, it does not match up.

    Kentucky, Southern Miss and California all possess a higher RPI than the Wildcats.

    The good news for Villanova is that they have a higher RPI than bubble teams St. John's and Ole Miss. 

    Luckily for Jay Wright and company, the RPI is not the only determining factor when selecting the field of 68. 

What They Need to Do in Final Weeks of the Season

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    Villanova has three games remaining on their schedule against Seton Hall, Pittsburgh and Georgetown.

    The game with the most importance is against the Hoyas on March 7 at home.

    If the Wildcats can defeat Georgetown, there should be no reason why they should not make the final 68. 

    A win over either Georgetown or Pittsburgh combined with a win over Seton Hall would give the Wildcats 20 wins overall and 11 wins in conference.

    The Wildcats are most likely to enter the Big East tournament as either the sixth or seventh seed and they will have to win at least one game at Madison Square Garden to secure a spot in the final 68. 

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