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Xavier is on the way up, Nova is probably underrated, and what is going on with Georgetown?

Is anyone surprised that we're heading towards the top of the conference? I'm not.

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So... 11 games, 11 wins. I thought I had seen a couple of losses on the non-conference schedule before the season, but I guess I was wrong. The depth and versatility of this team is incredible.

In the meantime, Villanova just posted a DReb% of 40.9% against Virginia. That's not a typo; that's getting crushed on the glass. They can be had on the boards; my early read on NYE is that it's going to come down to who provides a bigger advantage between our rebounders and their shooters.


I'm almost afraid to talk about anything for fear that I somehow jinx this. The farther we get, though, the better I think we really are. Listen, despite that depth and versatility, we're going to lose games, but we don't have anyone playing so far over his head that you say "this isn't sustainable." We can now reasonably discuss beating Villanova.


Nova has two losses, but they're both against really good teams. I'm starting to think that we're a very good team though. We match up really well with what Nova does poorly. Unfortunately, they matchup really well with what we do poorly. They're probably going to be ranked behind us, Butler, and maybe Providence when the polls come out, but they're a really doggone good team.


Auburn also matched up well with what we do poorly and we held them to a reasonable number of attempts from deep. I don't think we'll crush Nova on the glass like that, but sharpshooting teams won't necessarily destroy us this year.


The counterpoint to that comparison, of course, is that Auburn is 1-2 against the KenPom top 100 while Villanova doesn't have a loss outside the KenPom top 2. I think there's every chance that they're as good this year as they were last year, they've just scheduled very aggressively.

Can we talk about the conference for a minute? Nova has beaten everyone they should have and lost two KenPom 1 and 2 by a total of 34 points. You know our resume. Butler has beaten Cinci and Purdue away from home and has no bad losses.

Then there's a drop off to 11-1 Providence with a win over Arizona and 9-2 Seton Hall with a win over Wichita State. Right now, those five teams would be in or on the bubble.

Then... Creighton with four losses, including one to Loyola Chicago? Georgetown, who lost to Duke and Maryland by a total of 6 points but also lost to Radford, Monmouth, and UNC Asheville? Marquette, who will come into conference play having won 9 straight but holding wins over 5 teams in the bottom 25 of KenPom?

We won't even touch DePaul and St. John's except for just there, but the middle of the league is looking awfully mushy. What is going on here?