The Bracketology field is based on how the tourney looks "as of this moment." The field below is not based on who I think deserves to be in, but a prediction of what the committee would do as things stand. For the next few weeks, I'll be posting Bracketology updates every Tuesday & Friday. In late February, I release Bracketology updates daily as the season enters crunch time.
Jay Wright's Wildcats didn't look their best on Saturday afternoon, falling behind big early on their way to a 103-90 loss at Georgetown. But something changed between that loss at Monday night, with youngsters playing with poise and the Wildcats taking better care of the basketball, and the end result was an 82-75 win over West Virginia to move into a tie for first place in the Big East. In the first half nine different players scored for Villanova with senior Scottie Reynolds being limited by the defense of Devin Ebanks.
A pair of games between ranked teams take center stage on Monday night, with Villanova's trip to Morgantown preceding Kansas taking on Texas in Austin. Jay Wright's team will look to bounce back from their disappointing showing at Georgetown on Saturday and they're going to need to hit the glass with a vengeance in order to beat the Mountaineers. West Virginia averages 15.6 offensive rebounds per game, good for third in the Big East. Of the 795 rebounding opportunities on Mountaineer shots Bob Huggins' team grabs the board 43.3% of the time, tops in the conference.
The showcase game on Saturday tips off at high noon, with Georgetown hosting Villanova in a rematch of their meeting back on January 17th. John Thompson III's team has lost three of their last six and could use a win here to both get back on the right track and improve their resume in regards to possible NCAA Tournament seeding. Both Greg Monroe and Austin Freeman had quiet second halves in their 72-64 loss to USF on Wednesday night, and on a team with four consistent scoring options (Chris Wright and Jason Clark complete the quartet) that can't happen if Georgetown is to be successful.
So much for my thinking that Michigan State would be the team most likely to knock off the Badgers at the Kohl Center. Led by Jason Bohanon's 19 points Wisconsin controlled the game from start to finish in their 67-49 win over the Spartans, and the visitors suffered a crucial loss in the second half when Kalin Lucas went down with a sprained ankle. It's unknown how long the point guard will be out and with games against Illinois and Purdue coming up Lucas' health is critical.
CollegeHoops.net Player of the week: Scottie Reynolds, G, Villanova
The first Big Monday of the season was supposed to be tipped off with an entertaining affair from the Big East between Villanova and Louisville. With both teams entering the game undefeated in league play there was no reason to think otherwise...until the game got underway. When it was all said and done there were sixty-seven fouls, ninety-four foul shots, forty-four turnovers...and one 36-point performance from Scottie Reynolds. Reynolds scored sixteen points in the final six minutes of the game on Monday night, leading the fourth-ranked Wildcats to a 92-84 victory.