In the BIG EAST, UCONN, Pitt, Louisville, Nova, and Marquette are listed as locks, which leaves a handful of teams with “work left to do”
Providence [15-9 (7-5), RPI: 64, SOS: 44] The Friars’ résumé looks a lot like what Cincinnati will put before the NCAA selection committee. But Providence owns the tiebreaker, having beaten the Bearcats twice last month. The Friars are 3-5 against RPI top-50 foes (they also beat Syracuse 100-94 at home Jan. 28), and each of their nine losses came against an opponent ranked No. 77 or better in the RPI ratings. With a 7-5 record in Big East play, Providence can get to 10 wins by beating slumping Notre Dame and sweeping two games against Rutgers. The Friars also play road games at Louisville and Villanova and a home game against Pittsburgh, so there’s little room for error.
Jim Donaldson of the Projo seems to disagree with this in his latest article entitled, “PC has done enough, so far, to make the NCAA Tournament”
If the season ended today, the Friars would-or, at least, certainly should-be an NCAA tournament team. If they’re in the same position three weeks from now, there should be no question, no argument, about whether they should get a bid. If they’re not in the same position, well, then they’ll have only themselves to blame if they don’t get in, not the selection committee.
He reasons that you should look heavily at the BIG EAST standings, and throw out the fact that there’s an unbalanced schedule — that’s the commish’s problem, not Providence’s.
I can’t say I agree with Donaldson. If the season ended right now, the Friars would probably be one of the first teams left out. He thinks that the team will finish 10-8 (which sounds very reasonable) and that alone will be enough to make the tournament. However, he doesn’t really factor in the BET. If the Friars would lose their first game, NIT here they come.