3. Is Villanova still the favorite to win the Big East regular-season title?
Still yes because they are the best team even though they are not playing that well right now. They are not going to be without company as Seton Hall is going to be a force all year and they are playing the best right now. So it’s a two-team race right now between Villanova and Seton Hall
Of course, Villanova is still the favorite, they’ve lost three games to teams who have all been in the top 3 this season. If they had finished off Purdue this probably isn’t a question. The loss to Baylor looks ugly but I think that said more about how good Baylor is than it did Nova.
While teams such as Providence, Seton Hall, and UConn could say differently, I’ll say yes. While the loss to Baylor was disappointing, the Wildcats were right there in losses to UCLA and Purdue and should control the Big East once again in 2021-22.
Villanova is probably still the favorite for the Big East regular-season title, but it definitely won’t be as easy as most predicted. I wasn’t super high on Villanova to enter the season and am less so now that I’ve watched them play. Depth is a real concern for the Wildcats.
Plus, the Big East has looked very strong to start the year. Ignoring schedule quality, Villanova has the third-worst record of all Big East teams right now. UConn, Xavier, and Seton Hall have emerged as potential contenders for the conference crown.
Prior to the Baylor loss, I would have said yes. Obviously, the Wildcats have the losses to UCLA and Purdue that were largely caused by Villanova’s lack of depth – but they were both still single-digit losses. But that 19-point blowout at Baylor where Villanova put up just 36 points is one of the most bizarre showings I’ve ever seen from a Jay Wright squad, and it concerns me.
The Big East is stupidly deep – UConn, Xavier, and Providence are all really good teams, I think St. John’s, Marquette, and Creighton have the capabilities to pick up some sneaky quality wins, and that’s without even mentioning DePaul, who genuinely appear to be solid this season. But right now, Seton Hall appears to be the best bet.
I’m a little hesitant because the Pirates’ win over Michigan hasn’t aged particularly well, and it’s really hard to gauge just how legit Texas actually is – but I like the close loss to Ohio State and the 14-point win over Rutgers. I actually think those are the most telling parts of Hall’s resume – and all of this culminates in the Pirates owning one of the best defenses in the nation.