A beautiful bombshell was dropped yesterday in the form of a new home for the Catholic 7. Joining The Seven in the "new" Big East are Butler, Xavier and most likely Creighton. St. Louis and Dayton are expected to join the party in time for the 2014-15 season.
There is no doubt that the Big East will lose significant talent as it morphs as a conference. However, the 5 mid-majors that are penciled in to join the conference are no slouches. Here is how they've performed over the last 8 seasons (2 full recruiting cycles):
|Avg. Record||25.1 - 9.3||24.1 - 9.6||23 - 11.1||21-12.2||17.5 - 14.5|
|Avg. Final KenPom rating||67||41||67||87||114|
Notes: Both of Butler's Final Four appearances resulted in losses in the final -- Duke (2010) and UConn (2011)... One Xavier's 4 Sweet 16 appearances was also an Elite 8 showing (2008) ... Saint Louis looks to add their second NCAA appearance in 9 years this March ... Dayton won the NIT in 2010 and have appeared in the NIT 4 times in the past 8 seasons.
Now lets see how these schools match up against the Catholic 7 over the last 8 seasons:
|Avg. Record||Avg. Final KenPom||NCAA apps.||Sweet 16||Final 4|
|Georgetown||23 - 10.2||16||6||1||1|
|Villanova||23.1 - 10.5||27||7||4||1|
|Butler||25.1 - 9.3||67||5||3||2|
|Xavier||24.1 - 9.6||41||7||4||0|
|Marquette||23 - 11||34||7||2||0|
|Creighton||23 - 11.1||67||3||0||0|
|Seton Hall||16.2 - 14.7||77||1||0||0|
|Dayton||21 - 12.2||87||1||0||0|
|St. John's||14.3 - 16.5||99||1||0||0|
|Saint Louis||17.5 - 14.5||114||1||0||0|
|Providence||15 - 16||81||0||0||0|
|DePaul||9.8 - 17.2||117||0||0||0|
I ranked the 12 schools based on a combination of the 5 statistics above and conference affiliation ... Catholic 7 schools only finished with a final KenPom rating below 150 on four occasions: St. John's (2011), DePaul (2009, 2010, 2011) ..The Catholic 7 have combined for 22 NCAA appearances over 8 seasons (22/56, 39%) ... The other five schools have reached the NCAA tournament 15 times over 8 seasons (15/40, 37%) ... Butler has as many Final 4 appearances as the Catholic 7 combined over the past 8 years and more (2) showings in the title game than the other eleven schools put together (0).
I did not include any data from the current season or projected performance over the next season or two. Here is how the 12 schools will likely finish their seasons:
NCAA bound (or close) in 2012-13: Georgetown, Villanova (bubble-IN), Butler, Marquette, Creighton (bubble), Saint Louis
NIT (maybe): Xavier, Providence, Dayton, St. John's
No postseason likely: Seton Hall, DePaul
Conclusion: Of the ten schools expected to make up the Big East in 2013-14, I would rank Seton Hall around 7th or 8th. That is a reflection of the relatively even, yet talented, playing field that will compose the Big East. The above charts show mostly recent success -- Seton Hall is in the middle of the pack while Xavier and Butler fit in right at the top and Creighton sits on the same tier as the Pirates.
An extremely early projection at how next year's pre-season coaches poll may look (Saint Louis and Dayton are not included):
- St. John's
- Creighton (Doug McDermott?)
- Seton Hall