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Big East Championship Countdown: Feb. 18 Update

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Villanova’s lead is less than a game

NCAA Basketball: Providence at Villanova Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the home stretch in the Big East Title race, and subsequently the Big East Tournament seeding. The Big East is far from decided, although it does seem to be just a two horse race. That said, the seeding is clearly up in the air as the 3-10 seeds are still all within three games of each other.

Big East Regular Season Championship

Last night’s loss eliminated the one game cushion Villanova had in the conference title race. But if you’re looking for a silver lining, Marquette didn’t play over the weekend so they still remain a half game back of the Wildcats. Both teams are back in action on Wednesday night, so a win at Georgetown could keep Villanova in the drivers seat. It’s looking more and more like the Feb. 27th game on the Main Line could decide which one of these two wins the Championship.

Villanova’s loss also means there are a few teams outside of Marquette still technically in the hunt for the title. DePaul joined Xavier, Providence, and Creighton in the group of eliminated teams. St. John’s, Seton Hall, and Butler all won to keep their hopes alive, while Georgetown avoided elimination with Villanova’s loss. It’s still a longshot for any of these teams to win the title as Nova and Marqutte would both need to collapse down the stretch, but they’re technically still in it for now.

With that said, everyone in the Big East will be in action on a jam packed Wednesday night. A few teams have their backs to the wall as the title race draws closer to an end.

Elimination Games

  • Georgetown will need help to stay alive in the title race. Not only must they defeat the league leading Wildcats, they also need Marquette to lose later that night.
  • Butler’s basically in the same spot as Georgetown. Not only do they have to hope Villanova drops back to back games, but then they have to win on the road at Marquette to keep their title hopes alive.
  • Seton Hall had another comeback win at Creighton over the weekend to pick up a game on Villanova. But a loss to Xavier this week combined with a Wildcat win would eliminate the Pirates.
  • St. John’s put together back to back wins for the first time since Jan. 5th to take down the Villanova. But if Villanova beats Georgetown and the Johnnies drop one at Providence, they’ll be out of contention.

Big East Tournament Seeding

For those teams that aren’t in the title race, they still have a shot in the Big East Tournament. As we’ve seen in the past, any team is capable of running the table and earning a spot in the NCAA tournament regardless of their record. The lower seeds have started to separate a little bit, but it’s still pretty closely packed after Villanova and Marquette. With that in mind, here’s what the current seeding for the BET would look like:

First Day: Wednesday, March 13th

  • #7 Xavier vs #10 Providence
  • #8 DePaul vs #9 Creighton

Quarter-Finals: Thursday, March 14th

  • #1 Villanova vs #8 DePaul/#9 Creighton
  • #4 St. John’s vs #5 Butler
  • #2 Marquette vs #7 Xavier/#10 Providence
  • #3 Seton Hall vs #6 Georgetown

The weekend results kept all the high seeds in tact, but the teams playing on the first day did a little bit of jumbling around. Xavier was able to jump up to the 7 seed from the bottom of the pile, while Providence has fallen down to the bottom of the league after losing five of their last six. The only one of these matchups we’ll get to preview on Wednesday will be the potential 8 vs 9 matchup when Creighton takes on DePaul in Chicago.