Providence, Big East Bracketology Update 2/27/17

ESPN and CBS Sports have released updated brackets and we’ll continue to track the minutae of each bracketology update so you don’t have to.

The final week of the regular season is now upon us with Big East play coming to a crescendo on Saturday with all ten teams in action. There are a lot of bubbles bouncing around in the air right now and both national media members and bracket aggregating sites like BracketMatrix.com are pumping out lots of predictions and content as conference tournament season rapidly approaches for all the power conferences. Let’s take a look at where Providence, their non-conference opponents and the rest of the Big East stands in the latest bracketology.

Note: As of this posting, Bracket Matrix was last updated on 2/27/17 at 9:21am, CBSSports.com was updated on 2/26/17 at 9:46pm  and ESPN.com was updated the morning of 2/27/17.

Providence

  • ESPN.com – Joe Lunardi – In – Seed: 12 – Opponent: 12 Vanderbilt
  • CBSSports.com – Jerry Palm – In – Seed: 11 – Opponent: 6 Maryland
  • BracketMatrix.com – Aggregate – In – Seed 11 – Best: 9 – Worst: 12 – In 98/113 brackets

Providence has played their way into the field with their current 4-game winning streak that includes triumphs over Butler, Xavier and Marquette at home and a road win at Creighton. With two winnable games remaining this week — St. John’s is a coin-flip at Kenpom.com — the Friars have, amazingly, positioned themselves in the driver’s seat. Keep winning games and the NCAA Selection Committee will have no other choice but to include Providence for a school-record fourth straight year. A slip-up against DePaul would be a death knell while a loss at MSG to St. John’s could be recovered from but would require much heavier lifting in the Big East Tournament.

The Rest of the Big East

Villanova

  • ESPN.com – Joe Lunardi – In – Seed: 1 – Opponent: 16 Mount St. Mary’s/UC Davis
  • CBSSports.com – Jerry Palm – In – Seed: 1 – Opponent: 16 New Orleans/UC Irvine
  • BracketMatrix.com – Aggregate – In – Seed 1 – Best: 1 – Worst: 1 – In 113/113 brackets

The Wildcats continue to hold onto the top spot in the bracket and clinched a fourth straight Big East regular season crown with their win on Saturday. The Wildcats are readying for their defense of the National Championship and they appear locked into one of the four 1 seeds with just 1 regular season game left to play at Georgetown before waiting for their Big East Tournament opponent on Thursday next week.

Butler

  • ESPN.com – Joe Lunardi – In – Seed: 4 – Opponent: 13 Monmouth
  • CBSSports.com – Jerry Palm – In – Seed: 3 – Opponent: 14 Belmont
  • BracketMatrix.com – Aggregate – In – Seed 3 – Best: 2 – Worst: 5 – In 113/113 brackets

Butler locked up the 2 seed in the Big East Tournament with their win over Xavier on Sunday night in Cincinnati and the Bulldogs continue to improve their resume. They have a very good chance of facing off with Villanova in the Big East Tournament Finals next Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in search of their first-ever Big East Tournament victory. Butler has the same record against Top 50 RPI teams as Villanova (10-2) and a better strength of schedule than Kansas who is the current #1 in the RPI. A strong finish for Butler this week to close the regular season and then if they make a run at MSG next week could propel the Bulldogs up a seed line or two on Selection Sunday.

Creighton

  • ESPN.com – Joe Lunardi – In – Seed: 6 – Opponent: 11 USC
  • CBSSports.com – Jerry Palm – In – Seed: 6 – Opponent: 11 Middle Tennessee State
  • BracketMatrix.com – Aggregate – In – Seed 6 – Best: 5 – Worst: 8 – In 113/113 brackets

Creighton losses to Providence and Villanova in their last two games have put the Bluejays in jeopardy of slipping down the Big East standings. If they can maintain the 3 seed they would avoid Villanova until the finals, should they win on Thursday and Friday next week. They finish with a home game against St. John’s and then a road game at Marquette.

Seton Hall

  • ESPN.com – Joe Lunardi – In – Seed: 11 – Opponent: 11 Marquette
  • CBSSports.com – Jerry Palm – In – Seed: 10 – Opponent: 7 Iowa State
  • BracketMatrix.com – Aggregate – In – Seed 10 – Best: 9 – Worst: 13 – In 109/113 brackets

Seton Hall is squarely on the bubble but a strong finish with win in their final two games (vs. Georgetown, at Butler) would go a long way towards improving their resume. A 10-8 Big East record should mean something, especially when the bubble is as soft as experts say it is. A win at home against Georgetown and a loss at Butler would leave lots of work to do for the Pirates, though they have most of last year’s Big East Tournament Championship team back for another run at the title and automatic big.

Marquette

  • ESPN.com – Joe Lunardi – In – Seed: 11 – Opponent: 11 Seton Hall
  • CBSSports.com – Jerry Palm – In – Seed: 11 – Opponent: 11 Rhode Island
  • BracketMatrix.com – Aggregate – In – Seed 11 – Best: 9 – Worst: 12 – In 102/113 brackets

Marquette is another team squarely on the bubble and Lunardi’s last four in matchup means these two could very well be fighting for one spot over the next two weeks between the final two regular season games and the action in the Big East Tournament at MSG. The Golden Eagles’ resume has that shiny win over Villanova on it but their RPI number isn’t very solid for an at-large team. Their loss to Providence on Saturday was a big setback. They have a tough finishing stretch this week with a game at Xavier and then home against Creighton. Win both of those and their resume looks better and better. Lose one or both and they have lots of work to do in NYC.

Xavier

  • ESPN.com – Joe Lunardi – In – Seed: 9 – Opponent: 8 Miami
  • CBSSports.com – Jerry Palm – In – Seed: 10 – Opponent: 7 St. Mary’s
  • BracketMatrix.com – Aggregate – In – Seed 8 – Best: 4 – Worst: 12 – In 113/113 brackets

Xavier needs to stop the bleeding of their five game losing streak and try to head to NYC playing better basketball. It helps that Trevon Bluiett is back in the lineup but the Musketeers need to win some games over the next two weeks to get confidence back, both in themselves and the confidence of the committee. Their loss on Sunday moved them from 4th in the Big East standings to 7th. If the season ended today they’d have to play DePaul on the opening night of the Big East Tournament while teams 3-6 in the standings get that night off.

Providence’s Non-Con Opponents

Virginia

  • ESPN.com – Joe Lunardi – In – Seed: 5 – Opponent: 12 UNC Wilmington
  • CBSSports.com – Jerry Palm – In – Seed: 5 – Opponent: 12 UT Arlington
  • BracketMatrix.com – Aggregate – In – Seed 5 – Best: 4 – Worst: 8 – In 113/113 brackets

Rhode Island

  • ESPN.com – Joe Lunardi – Out – First Four Out
  • CBSSports.com – Jerry Palm – In – Seed: 11 – Opponent: 11 Marquette
  • BracketMatrix.com – Aggregate – Out – First Four Out – Best: 11 – Worst: 12 – In 39/113 brackets

Vermont

  • ESPN.com – Joe Lunardi – In – Seed: 13 – Opponent: 4 West Virginia
  • CBSSports.com – Jerry Palm – In – Seed: 13 – Opponent: 4 Cincinnati
  • BracketMatrix.com – Aggregate – In – Seed 13 – Best: 11 – Worst: 15 – In 113/113 brackets

Click here to see Lunardi’s entire bracket.

Click here to see Palm’s entire bracket.

Click here to see all brackets at BracketMatrix.com.

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