Yeah, getting to this real late, for reasons outlined in my baseball blog (if you're into that sort of thing). But what kind of year is RCR having with predictions? Just when we say we're through with Providence, they go out and knock off the No. 1 team in the country.
Now you have to think the Friars have a shot at the Dance, right? Assuming they beat Rutgers and lose at Villanova, they're 18-12 overall and 10-8 in the conference going into the Big East tournament (where they're now quite likely to have a bye into the second round). Win one game in the Big East tournament, and you're 19-13, and the committee has to take a look at wins over Pitt and Syracuse.
Will it be enough? I say probably not. The committee has a history of screwing Providence, and the out-of-conference schedule was weak. But they'll be in the discussion. And if they get hot and win TWO Big East tournament games and make the semifinals? Jeez.
I say, if the Friars can upset Villanova next week in Philly, they get in. I just don't think they can do that.
Pitt now becomes the team that has to worry about getting passed by Villanova for that critical No. 4 seed in the conference tournament. If they lose one of their remaining three games (at Seton Hall/Marquette/UConn) and Villanova wins out, Villanova catches them. And Villanova has the tiebreaker, as a result of their 67-57 win on Jan. 28.
See? This Big East season did turn out to be exciting. It's just that Georgetown wasn't a part of it.
Watching UConn-Marquette now. Will be back, as you know.