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Big East Action: Open Thread!

The Battle for the Big East is ON.

Michael Heiman

We're now two thirds of the way through the Big East Season. As each team turns down the home stretch, it's time to look ahead a little bit to examine the possibilities for the Big East Regular Season Championship race. This post also provides a forum to discuss Big East action as it takes place.

Big East Standings as of 10:30am March 8th:
















Notre Dame


















St. John's






Seton Hall



South Florida






Now let's examine the remaining schedules for the top conference teams:

Games against teams against the bottom 4 are in italics, games against the top 5 are in bold:

Georgetown: 3/9 vs. Syracuse

Marquette: 3/9 @ St. John's

Syracuse: 3/9 @ Georgetown

Louisville: 3/9 vs. Notre Dame

Pittsburgh: 3/9 @ DePaul

Notre Dame:3/9 @ Louisville

UConn: 3/9 vs. Providence

As a reminder, here are the complicated rules for breaking ties in the standings in the Big East:

MULTIPLE-TEAM TIE (3 or more teams)

A) Teams are viewed as a "mini-conference" when comparing head-to-head results. The team with the
best record (as determined by winning percentage, even if unequal games) vs. the other teams in the miniconference
gains the advantage. If only two teams have the same best winning percentage in the miniconference,
the higher seed goes to the team winning the head-to-head series. If the two teams split their
two games, then proceed to Step 2 under Two-Way ties. To seed the remaining team(s) in this miniconference,
proceed to Paragraph B below. If three or more (but not all) teams have the same best winning
percentage in the original mini-conference, then those tied teams create a new mini-conference and follow
the same procedures as at the beginning of this paragraph. If all teams in the mini-conference have the
same mini-conference record, proceed to Step 2 below.

B) After the top team in a mini-conference is determined, the next team is ranked by its record in the
original mini-conference. If there are any remaining teams tied by their record in the mini-conference,
then head-to-head results will determine the higher seed. If the teams split two games, then proceed back
to the two-way tie breaking procedure. If there are at least three teams remaining tied by their record in
the mini-conference, they would then form a new mini-conference and follow the procedure again at the
beginning of Step 1 (Multiple-Team Tie).

2. Compare each team's record vs. the team or group of tied teams occupying the highest position in the
standings. Continue down through the standings until one team gains an advantage. When comparing
records against a single team or collective tied teams (before ties are broken), the following may apply:
a. The games played against the team or group are equal, winning percentage prevails.
b. If the games played against the team or group are unequal, the following scenarios apply:
1) Most wins do prevail only if the team(s) with fewer wins could not equal that win total if they
played the same number of games. Two examples of many scenarios that do provide an advantage
1) Team A 2-0 2) Team A 3-1
Team B 1-1 Team B 1-2
Team C 0-1 Team C 1-2

2) Most wins do not prevail only if the team(s) with fewer wins could equal or surpass the win total
of the other team. Two examples of many scenarios that do not provide an advantage:
1) Team A 2-1 2) Team A 1-2
Team B 1-1 Team B 0-2
Team C 1-1 Team C 0-2

3) Fewer losses do not prevail if the team(s) have the same number of wins, but the team with fewer
games could equal or surpass the loss total of the other tied teams. Two examples of many scenarios
that do not provide an advantage:
1) Team A 2-0 2) Team A 0-2
Team B 2-1 Team B 0-3
Team C 2-1 Team C 0-3
If an advantage is not determined, proceed to the next team or group in the standings for comparison.

If the tie cannot be broken after continuing down through the last team or teams in the standings,
revert back to comparing records against the top teams in order and allow winning percentage to
prevail even if there is a comparison of unequal games. Only then, if the percentages are both 1.000,
than 2-0 is better than 1-0. However, the reverse is not true - no team gains advantage when all have a
.000 winning percentage (0-1 is never better than 0-2).

Got that? Great! Moving on...

So currently here's what we have for the Tiebreaker Scenarios:

Georgetown has the tiebreaker over SYRACUSE, UConn, Louisville, and ND. Georgetown loses the tiebreaker to Pittsburgh and no one has the tiebreaker between Georgetown and Marquette. Georgetown still has to play Cuse again, who is vying for a double bye

Marquette has the tiebreaker over Syracuse, ND, Pittsburgh and UConn. Marquette loses the tiebreak to Louisville. No one has the tiebreaker between Marquette and Georgetown.

Syracuse has the tiebreaker over ND. Syracuse loses the tiebreaker to GEORGETOWN, Marquette, Pittsburgh and UConn. No one has the tiebreaker between Syracuse and Louisville. Syracuse still has to play Georgetown a second time.

Louisville has the tiebreaker over UConn, Pitt, and Marquette. Louisville loses the tiebreaker to ND and Georgetown. No one has the tie breaker between Louisville and Syracuse. Louisville still has to play ND a second time who are vying for a double bye.

Pittsburgh has the tiebreaker over Georgetown, Syracuse, and UConn. Pittsburgh loses the tiebreaker to ND, Marquette and Louisville.

Notre Dame has the tiebreaker over Pittsburgh, Louisville and Notre Dame loses the tiebreaker to Georgetown, Marquette, UConn, and Syracuse. ND still has to play Louisville a second time who are vying for a double bye.

UConn has the tiebreaker over ND and Syracuse. They lose the tiebreaker to Georgetown, Louisville, Pitt, and Marquette.

I contacted the BE conference and they informed me that the Big East Tournament will be seeded as if Uconn were participating including all the tie breakers. Then once the tournament is seeded 1-15 Uconn will be removed and everyone below them moved up one seed.

As the season progresses over the course of the next few weeks, this will be updated and later we will start running scenarios for how the season could end, who would win the tiebreakers, and what seeds teams may get in the Big East Tournament. Obviously in general we want teams who have the tiebreaker over us and who we haven't played yet to lose.