If I am Providence coach Ed Cooley, I am delighted I am part of the NCAA tournament field, but I am not real happy that the Friars tournament trip will start in the play in games in Dayton. And I am really not happy that the opponent will be USC, who the Friars met in the first round of last year’s tournament. More about that later.
Here’s what Cooley should be upset about. Providence is a No. 11 seed in the East Regional. Marquette is a No. 10 seed in the East and will face South Carolina in it’s first game in Greenville.
Providence and Marquette should be flipped.
Let’s look at some hard numbers first. Both teams finished with 10-8 records in the Big East. So what is usually the first tie breaker? Head to head. The two teams played twice. Providence won both times.
Not good enough. OK. The much talked about RPI. Marquette’s last ranking was 61. PC? 55. Records against Top 50 opponents. Both teams were 1-4. Against Top 50, Marquette was 6-3, PC was 5-4. Against Top 100 PC was 2-1, Marquette was 2-3.
Strength of schedule? Providence was at 49. Marquette at 59.
The ONLY real edge that Marquette has is a 2 point victory over Villanova. The Friars lost to Nova twice.
In my opinion, PC should have been the No. 10 seed. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.