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Big East Championship and Big East Tournament Seeding: It’s Not Over Yet

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Jermaine Samuels kept Villanova’s Championship hopes alive.

NCAA Basketball: Marquette at Villanova Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

With just a little over one week remaining in the Big East regular season, every team is jockeying for position. Just a half game separates the two teams still fighting for a Championship, while the rest of the league jockeys for position and tries to avoid the bottom four seeds of the Big East Tournament. Let’s jump right in!

Big East Regular Season Championship

The Villanova Wildcats, led by sophomore forward Jermaine Samuels, denied the Marquette Golden Eagles a chance at claiming at least a share of the Big East Regular Season Championship last night. Marquette still controls its own destiny in terms of winning their first outright Big East title, but their now just a half game ahead of the Wildcats with three games remaining.

Villanova will host Butler on Saturday, then get a week off before traveling to Seton Hall to close out the season on March 9th. Marquette will host Creighton this weekend, then take their own trip to Seton Hall, before finishing up at home against Georgetown. While both teams are favored to win every game the rest of the way, KenPom.com gives both teams less than a 60% chance to win at Seton Hall.

Marquette can actually clinch a share of the title this weekend if they beat Creighton and Villanova loses to Butler. Here are the rest of the scenarios that could play out for the Big East Championship:

Marquette wins outright if: Marquette’s “magic number” for an outright Championship is up to 3 after last night’s loss. That means they need any combination of three wins or Villanova losses to earn the title outright.

They share if: This scenario is much simpler. If Marquette loses one more game than Villanova does form here out, the teams will share the title.

Villanova wins outright if: This is highly unlikely, but still possible. Marquette would have to lose two more games than Villanova does the rest of the way for this to happen.

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 3-10 seeds are all within 3 games of each other, but now they all have on 2 or 3 games remaining on their schedule. With that in mind, here’s what the current seeding for the BET would look like:

First Day: Wednesday, March 13th

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

Quarter-Finals: Thursday, March 14th

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

Here are some additional things to keep in mind as we enter the final stretch before the Big East Tournament:

  • Villanova and Marquette will be the Top 2 seeds in the tournament. Marquette can lock up the #1 seed by winning out. But if the two wind up with the same record, it’s likely that Villanova would earn the #1 seed through tie-breakers because Marquette was swept by St. John’s.
  • St. John’s is the only other team that can’t finish in last place (due to tiebreakers) and Providence can’t finish any higher than 4th, but the rest of the teams are still too closely bunched to call. We should start getting a clearer picture of where everyone will land.