When the Catholic 7 announced earlier this year they would leave the Big East the math was simple. DePaul brings the Chicago market, Providence, Seton Hall and St. John’s bring the New York market, and as the table below shows Georgetown, Villanova and Marquette keep bringing almost $1.5 million per NCAA invite and tournament game won.
With a half billion dollar multi-year TV deal reportedly offered quickly, the math looked good right away. Saturday it looked even better on the court.
The only problem when the announcement was made that the NCAA trio that had made the tournament a combined 19 of their last 21 seasons were all struggling a little. Marquette was borderline on making their eighth straight tournament (table below indicates their seeds have been 7, 8, 6, 6, 6, 11, 3 and based on their current rating on www.kenpom.com they would be a projected 9-seed).
Georgetown was not quite up to their normal 2- or 3-seed they have had in four of the past seven years, and just a couple of years after being a 2-seed and Final Four team Villanova seemed a sure thing to miss the tournament for the second straight year as their freshman and sophomore dominated team had lost to Columbia. In fact, none of the seven were ranked higher than 35th in the country based on the computer rankings on www.kenpom.com.
|Season||NCAA Seeds||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||Today’s www.kenpom.com|
|2006||DePaul||#128, 21-pt underdog at Pitt|
|2006||Georgetown||7||2||2||3||6||3||11||#44, beat #3 Lville, 7-pt underdog|
|2006||Marquette||7||8||6||6||6||11||3||9||#35, 8-pt favorite v. Providence|
|2006||Providence||#66, 8-pt underdog v. Marquette|
|2006||Seton Hall||10||#98, 3-pt underdog at St. John’s|
|2006||St. John’s||6||#97, 3-point favorite v. Seton Hall|
|2006||Villanova||1||9||12||3||2||9||#78, beat #6 Syracuse, 10-pt underdog|
However, Saturday Georgetown and Villanova looked like they will be right back on top.
Preseason Value Add All-Big East MVP Otto Porter scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to hand Louisville its third consecutive loss 53-51. Fans are finally figuring out Georgetown isn’t winning poor low-scoring games, they are just playing phenomenal defense to head toward one of the elite seeds again. They beat Tennessee 37-36 and everyone growned, failed to get 50 points in a 48-49 loss to Marquette, but they took Indiana to overtime, held #24 Notre Dame to 47 points in a 16-point route and now held Louisville to 51.
Villanova had already stunned Louisville this week and looked like they would fall short of a second stunner until center Mouphtaou Yarou (pictured) grabbed an offensive rebound with seconds remaining and threw it out to Ryan Arcidiacono, who drained a 3-pointer to force a 64-64 overtime. Villanova then dominated overtime, and Arcidiacono hit two free throws to make it 75-69 before a meaningless dunk by Syracuse at the horn. The win guaranteed Marquette would finish the day in second place in the 15-team Big East regardless of their game in progress against Providence.
If Marquette holds onto defeat Providence today, then they would be only half a game behind Syracuse (6-1 to 5-1 conference records) with a trip into very tough Pittsburgh for Syracuse’s next game. The basketball and financial future is looking bright for the Catholic 7 and whoever the three to five teams to join the conference ultimately are.
The Catholic 7 All-Conference team right now based on www.valueaddbasketball.com would be:
Bryce Cotton, Providence 6-1 (MVP)
Otto Porter, Georgetown, 6-8 (preseason Big East MVP)
Davante Gardner, Marquette 6-8
D’Angelo Harrison, St. John’s 6-3
Fauquan Edwin, Seton Hall, 6-6