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Big East Championship Countdown: It’s officially a two horse race

Villanova’s back-to-back losses have them out of Championship lead for the first time this season.

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Georgetown Brad Mills-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 two games of each other.

Big East Regular Season Championship

For the first time all year, Villanova is no longer the lead dog in the Big East title race. Their loss to rival Georgetown combined with Marquette’s comeback win against Butler now has the Wildcats a half game out of first place. While Villanova still controls its own destiny and can guarantee at least a share of the regular season championship by winning their last four games, they’ll need help if they’re going to claim the title outright. Here are Villanova and Marquette’s schedules down the home stretch:

Villanova and Marquette’s End of Season Schedules

Game Dates Villanova Marquette
Game Dates Villanova Marquette
2/23-24 at Xavier at Providence
2/27 vs Marquette at Villanova
3/2-3 vs Butler vs Creighton
3/6 BYE at Seton Hall
3/9 at Seton Hall vs Georgetown

The regular season title could very easily come down to three games. Obviously the head to head matchup on the Main Line will tilt the scales one way or the other. But how each of these teams do on the road at Seton Hall, a difficult place to win, could be a deciding factor.

As for the rest of the league, everyone else has officially been eliminated. At the absolute worst, either Marquette or Villanova would finish with six Big East losses. They still play each other, so they can’t both lose every game. With every other team now sitting with at least seven losses, that means St. John’s, Seton Hall, Butler, and Georgetown have all been eliminated from title contention. Still, that doesn’t mean those teams aren’t in the hunt for Big East Tournament seeds.

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 had started to separate a little bit, but now the 3-10 seeds are all back within 2 games of each other. With that in mind, here’s what the current seeding for the BET would look like:

First Day: Wednesday, March 13th

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

Quarter-Finals: Thursday, March 14th

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

These standings are switching up so darn fast! Nova’s out of the top spot for the first time this year, DePaul is back at the bottom... and I’m happy about it? Obviously I want Villanova to win the Big East Regular Season Championship first and foremost. But putting that aside, if I had to pick the top or the bottom of this bracket I’d much rather prefer Villanova’s position as of today. There’s a lot of talent on the top of this bracket with Marquette, and avoiding all but one of those teams wouldn’t be too shabby. That said, there are still two and a half weeks left in Big East play, and I’m sure everything will keep shifting around until the final game.