Big East Tourney Seeding Scenarios


I've been wanting to post something like this for a while, but there was too much time to have an idea on how the Big East Tournament would set itself up as.  Finally, after a bubble-saving win by Seton Hall and a buzzer-beating three by Pitt, we're down to one game left for each team in the conference.  Thus, there finally is a pattern emerging for the five days in NY.  Here's how the league shakes down with a weekend of basketball remaining.

Double Byes: Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia, Pittsburgh

With Ashton Gibbs three at the buzzer, Pitt locked up the fourth and final double bye in the Big East.  Marquette loses out because they lost to both WVU and Pitt.  Syracuse locked up the top seed with their win Tuesday against St. John's and go into Louisville Saturday with nothing to play for, except top seed in the entire NCAA tournament.  Villanova and WVU play on Saturday for the 2nd seed and Nova would get it if they win.  If Nova wins, Pitt would then get the 3rd seed if they win their game against Rutgers and would still get it if they lose since they win their tiebreaker with WVU.  The nightmare scenario is if WVU wins, which means the 2nd seed would be determined by where Georgetown and Notre Dame finish.  If Pitt joins the Mountaineers and WIldcats at 13-5.  Pitt would win a tiebreaker between WVU and Villanova, who are 3rd and 4th, respectively.

Single Byes: Marquette, Louisville

Both the Golden Eagles and Cardinals have locked up one bye and will start on Wednesday at MSG.  Marquette is the 5 seed, so they could be set for an early tourney run, but could also face UConn, which would ratchet up a challenge in that case.  Louisville would be the sixth seed if they win, or finished tied with ND.  If they are tied with Georgetown, then the Cardinals are the seventh seed behind the Hoyas.  If Louisville, Georgetown and Notre Dame are tied, then the complex three-way tiebreaker appears, which looks to favor Louisville.

Alive for a Bye: Georgetown, Notre Dame, South Florida, Seton Hall

Here's the group that Seton Hall falls into.  Their best chance at a bye in the Big East tourney is if they win, USF loses, and ND loses.  South Florida is in a similar boat with Georgetown, needing a SHU loss to help them get the bye.  Obviously, if Georgetown and Notre Dame win, they have a bye, of which ND is the 7th seed and the Hoyas are 8th (assuming Louisville wins). Should that happen, SHU needs a win and a USF loss to get the 9th seed and DePaul in round one.  With multi-team ties, Seton Hall would need Pitt to finish close to the top of the league based on the tiebreaker, particularly if ND is involved.  There's a chance here for a four-way tie, which Seton Hall ends as the 10th seed behind ND, Georgetown and USF.

The rest:

UConn can move past South Florida with a win in Tampa and losses by both Cincinnati and Seton Hall.  The Bearcats, however, would have to have UConn win to move up, since any tiebreaker that benefits Cincy includes their two wins over the Huskies.  If the Big East still only sent 12 teams to NY, Rutgers, St. John's, Providence and DePaul would be eliminated already.  Rutgers would be 13th if they win or Providence loses.  St. John's needs a win and Rutgers loss to be 13th, while they could fall to 15th if they lose and the Friars win.  Providence gets the 13th seed if they win and Rutgers loses.  As mentioned earlier, DePaul is the 16th seed once again.

What this means for Seton Hall?

This means that the Pirates can finish as high as 8th if they are tied with Notre Dame.  They'll be 9th if they are tied with Georgetown or are 9-9 alone.  They are 10th if South Florida wins, regardless if Cincy wins.  They are 11th if they lose, and UConn wins and can still be 12th if they lose and both UConn and Cincy win.

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