The Madness is starting early…’Nova falls apart

Villanova continues its month long implosion by polishing off its season with a loss to South Florida in the Big East tournament.  Besides one weak win over Seton Hall and a sad overtime win over DePaul, Nova hasn’t really made a dent in the win category since the February 5th win over West Virginia.

Yesterday, Villanova lost to South Florida, albeit by only one point, but it knocked them out of the Big East tournament early—an opportunity squandered.  Let’s face it, Villanova needed a decent showing in the conference tournament to show the selection committee why they are still worthy of a solid bid.  Now, it would be hard for me to say that Villanova won’t get a bid anyways, but you never know how these conference automatic bids will work themselves out.  You also never know about how the selection committee will look at the body of work that the Big East produced.  Villanova has to feel a little down on itself given the selection committee’s treatment of teams who fall apart at the end of the season (they historically give the edge to teams on the upswing, all other things being even).  The selection committee will also likely look at the loss of Yarou (broken collarbone) as a factor.  

But how can we blame Villanova at this point?  It’s mid-March, it’s late.  And they’re tired, right?  The Big East spends all season beating each other up, sharing time at the top.  Some teams aren’t built to endure the long season as well as others.  Some teams really do crumble.  But shouldn’t that be a consideration going into the tournament?  In my opinion, if teams want the benefits that come with being in a high profile power conference, then they have to be able to hold up under pressure and over time.  You can’t use your conference as an excuse when you’re a mid-major and you can’t use it as an excuse in a power conference.  

And I’m not sure where all that leaves Villanova.  It probably leaves them on the good side of the bubble.  Bracketologists still project Villanova making the field with a #9 seed, being fed to the #1 overall in the second round.  No pity party, wildcats…time to man up and show ‘em what you got…if you still got it, that is.

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