Teams on the rise: Well, Villanova has won 12 straight, 10 by double digits. St. John's finished 7-2, with one loss coming in Saturday's finale against the Wildcats in South Philly. Georgetown won five of its last six.

Teams on the decline: Seton Hall, which beat Villanova, has dropped eight of nine. The win was by one at home against Creighton. DePaul, the early-season surprise, lost 10 of its last 11. The win was over Seton Hall.

Look forward to: How about Villanova making it to the title game for the first time since 1997? Or maybe even winning more than one game for the first time since 2004. The Wildcats' lone championship came in 1995. This is the fourth time they've been the No. 1 seed. In 1982 and 1997 they got to the final. Last year they lost in the quarters.

Worth noting: The top seed hasn't won since 2009 (Louisville). Since then the champions have been seeded third (West Virginia), ninth (eventual national champ Connecticut, fourth (Cincinnati), second (eventual national champ Louisville) and fourth (Providence, last March).

Dark horse to win it all: St. John's won its last seven Big East home games. The Red Storm has won the title three times, but not since 2000. Since then they're 6-11, 0-3 since 2011, having never won more than once in any year. Of course this is a different Big East.

Teams that need help to make the NCAAs: Xavier might need a win to secure its bid. Or maybe not. Other than that, the bottom four teams are going to have to hoist a trophy to get in the 68-team field. Good luck.

Best player: If it were most valuable I'd probably go with Villanova's Darrun Hilliard or Ryan Arcidiacono. But you couldn't go wrong with Providence's LaDontae Henton or Kris Dunn. Henton was the top scorer (20.5 average) and tied for fifth in rebounding (6.9). Dunn became the first to ever lead in assists and steals in conference play.

Best shooter: If you're looking for somebody to make a free throw, Xavier's Myles Davis converted 87.6 percent of his. Georgetown's D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Butler's Kellen Dunham were right behind that, and both took a lot more shots. Seton Hall's Sterling Gibbs hit 44.8 percent from the arc, to edge out Sixth Man of the Year Josh Hart of Villanova, which also had first-team selections Darrun Hilliard and Ryan Arcidiacono among the top 10 in conference games.

Ultimate title game: Villanova against anybody would work, especially if it's Georgetown. With due respect to Butler, any combination from among the old Big East teams - 'Nova, G-town, defending champ Providence or St. John's - couldn't be such a bad thing either.

The dreaded pick: I hate to do this to Villanova, because I rarely go with the chalk. But the Wildcats are past overdue. If I was going for an exacta I'd use Georgetown.

- Mike Kern