Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Georgetown Drops to a 2 Seed; Experts Split on Villanova
Georgetown dropped from a 1 seed to a 2 seed on Joe Lunardi’s NCAA Tournament bracket after the No. 5 Hoyas lost to Villanova, 67-57, Wednesday night.
The Hoyas are now tied with Marquette and Louisville at 13-4 atop the Big East, and close things out with Syracuse at home on Saturday.
Lunardi also moved Villanova — which got 20 points from Brooklyn’s JayVaughn Pinkston — up to the “Last Four Byes” group along with Colorado, Virginia and Iowa State.
Jay Wright’s Wildcats are 4-2 against Top 25 teams this year, but because all four wins came in the Philadelphia area, Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com isn’t convinced they should be in.
“No, not with the losses that they have,” Palm told SNY.tv Thursday, pointing out that Villanova lost to Columbia (by 18) and Seton Hall. “You’re not going to really feel that comfortable and almost all of their good wins are at home.”
Among Top 25 opponents Villanova has beaten Louisville, Syracuse, Marquette and now Georgetown at home, while losing at Syracuse and at Pittsburgh.
“I mean Virginia’s 4-2 [against Top 25] and they have seven bad losses,” Palm said. “Look, this is a team that lost to Columbia. They’ve got bad losses and all those wins are at home.”
Still, Villanova is now 19-12 overall, 10-8 in the Big East.
According to the Big East, among active league members, 124 of the 130 teams (94.6 percent) that won at least 10 Big East games went on to reach the NCAA tournament.
Palm believes Villanova can’t have any bad losses next week in the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden.
“Until I see their conference tournament bracket, I don’t know,” he said. “I can tell you what they can’t do, they can’t take a bad loss.”
Lunardi and Palm both have seven other Big East teams in — Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Cincinnati.
“Cincinnati would be the only one at any level of trouble, but I think Cincinnati’s probably in,” Palm said.
Palm also said that St. John’s “isn’t even on my board” but that “Providence just got on my board today of the list of teams that I look at.”
The Friars (17-12, 9-8 Big East) have won seven of eight, and need to make some serious noise next week at MSG.
“At a minimum they need to beat good teams,” Palm said. “They need to beat some of those tournament teams and probably plural.”
Palm has Duke, Indiana, Gonzaga and Louisville as his No. 1 seeds, while Lunardi has Duke (replacing Georgetown), Indiana, Gonzaga and Kansas.
Photo: Villanova Athletics
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.