With college basketball season just a few days away, all of the preseason metrics and rankings are up. Here's a look at where all the Big East teams stand according to the analytics compared to what the media and coaches think.
Connecticut as low as 60? Seton Hall as high as 31? DePaul at 45?! There are certainly some unexpected numbers on that chart.
The metrics seem to group these teams into five tiers. Let's take a look at those.
Tier 1: Get Your Dancing Shoes
Teams: Villanova, Creighton, Xavier
All three of these teams received first-place votes from the Big East coaches, and all three sit in the twenties on average in the metrics. Villanova has a pair of top-20 rankings there, but also one in the forties. Creighton just sneaks inside the top-20 in the BPI but doesn't get much love from KenPom despite the No. 9 ranking in the polls. Bart Torvik likes the Musketeers almost as much as Big East coaches. The analytics don't seem to like this group as much as the media or the coaches, but all three should be sitting pretty on Selection Sunday.
Tier 2: Feeling Bubbly
Teams: UConn, St. John's
With averages in the forties, both the Huskies and Red Storm should be on the right side of the bubble come March. The disparity between sitting at 27 in KenPom and the AP poll but at 60 in BPI is very interesting for UConn. St. John's has a more consistent outlook, at least. Both of these teams saw significant additions from the transfer portal, and that probably introduces more uncertainty here.
Tier 3: Rebellions Are Built On Hope
Teams: Seton Hall, Providence
Seton Hall and Providence both went to the Big Dance last year. If you consult the computers, they'll say the pairing will need some luck to make a return trip. That said, neither is that far outside the bubble. Two of the hottest coaches from last year are at the helm here, so perhaps they can get their teams to outperform expectations or pick up a handful of big wins to get over the hump.
Tier 4: So You're Telling Me There's A Chance?
Teams: Marquette, DePaul
If one number stands out on that chart, it would be DePaul's BPI ranking. 45? Ahead of UConn?! Personally, I don't see it. This team lost three top scorers, and while I like the portal and freshman additions, they don't scream tournament team. That said, sitting in the seventies is still within striking distance. The Friars started last season in the eighties and made the Sweet Sixteen, after all. If either of these teams is able to put together a similar run, Tony Stubblefield or Shaka Smart will win coach of the year.
Tier 5: Maybe Next Year
Teams: Butler, Georgetown
After two disappointing seasons last year, both of these schools made changes. Butler brought in a new old head coach, while Georgetown added nine new players. The computers don't seem optimistic that the changes will amount to much, with Butler starting the year at 130 in KenPom and the Hoyas as low as 177 in Torvik. The Bulldogs were picked eighth by the Big East coaches, though, and we've seen teams take a leap from there to make the tournament before. Marquette did it just last year.