MILWAUKEE – The final day of the BIG EAST regular season will stretch from noon Eastern time to about 10 p.m. Incredibly, no seeds for next week’s BIG EAST Tournament have been decided. There are 32 possible outcomes and almost no absolutes as in, “If this team wins, it is definitely a particular seed.”
There is a five-way tie at 8-9 for third place in the standings. One guesstimate would be that the season ends with a tie for third place at 9-9 and a multiple team tie at 8-10.
At the top, Villanova (13-4) can clinch its fifth outright BIG EAST title in the last six years with a win at Seton Hall. FOX will televise the game at noon. Seton Hall, one of the five 8-9 teams, will be the third or fourth seed with a victory.
Marquette, in second place at 12-5, hosts Georgetown (8-9) at 2:30 p.m. on FOX. The Golden Eagles can tie for the regular season crown with a win and a Villanova loss. Since Marquette and Villanova split in the regular season, the tiebreaker moves to what team or teams are in third place to determine an edge. But the possibilities for third place are too numerous to explain simply.
St. John’s plays at Xavier at 5 p.m., also on FOX. Both teams are 8-9. If St. John’s wins, the Red Storm will be the No. 3 seed, regardless of other results. If Xavier wins, the Musketeers could be third, fourth or fifth.
Creighton, another 8-9 squad, hosts DePaul (7-10) at 8 p.m. on FS1. The Bluejays have won four in a row, the longest current streak of any league team. The Blue Demons have won their last two with Max Strus scoring a combined 73 points.
Butler travels to Providence for a noon tipoff on FSN. The Bulldogs (7-10) want to move up into what will be the 8-10 group. The Friars (6-11), whose last two games have gone into overtime, including a win at Bulter 10 days ago, will be in the “8 vs. 9” game with a win.
Every BIG EAST team is assured of entering next week’s tourney with an overall winning record. Each BIG EAST squad has at least six conference wins. The only other time that has occurred in the history of the league was in 1997-98.
Thirty-six of the 85 conference games (.424) have been decided by six points or less or gone into overtime. Home teams are 51-34 (.600) in league play.