The Big East Tournament is next week. For the last time.
Don’t care who has the name. Don’t care if it’s still at MSG. It won’t be the Big East Tournament any longer.
Pitt was picked for 6th in the Big East while Syracuse and ND were picked for 2d and 3d respectively.
Pitt is sitting in a 3-way tie for 4th in the Big East with Notre Dame and Syracuse.
All three teams play on Saturday on the road — and very conveniently arranged for viewing pleasure.
Syracuse at Georgetown at Noon (ESPN)
Pitt at DePaul at 2pm (ESPN Regional/Big East syndication)
Notre Dame at Louisville (CBS)
Slight discrepancy in the foes ND and Cuse face compared to Pitt’s opponent. It is always possible DePaul pulls the upset. And there’s always a bit of concern for Pitt when they get a full week off. Still, I’m going to assume a Pitt win on Saturday to shorten and simplify scenarios.
If Pitt wins and the other two lose, Pitt finishes 4th without any tie-breakers. They would be the #4 seed in the BET.
If Pitt wins, Syracuse wins and ND loses, Pitt ties with Cuse for 4th, but is the #4 seed in the BET. Pitt beat Syracuse head-to-head.
If Pitt wins, Syracuse loses and ND wins, Pitt ties with ND for 4th, but falls to the #5 seed in the BET. ND beat Pitt head-to-head.
If all three win (or lose), Pitt will be seeded 4th in the BET because of that Georgetown win. The tie-breaker formula involves how the tied teams did against the highest finisher. ND lost to Georgetown. Syracuse, at best, is 1-1. Pitt with a 1-0 record gets it over the Orange.
Now the other question that gets asked is: Does Pitt want the double-bye?
Since 2009, the Big East has awarded the top four teams in the league standings a free pass to the quarterfinal round of the tournament while the rest of the teams begin play Tuesday and Wednesday. Pitt has earned the double bye three times and lost its first game on all three occasions.
The Panthers are not alone. In 16 games, teams with the double bye are 9-7.
Obviously Pitt has skewed the numbers. Flip them to wins and the double-bye debate in the BET would be a dismissed.
It really seems that there is no avoiding the dobule-bye. I have a hard time seeing Louisville losing this one at home. Not on their senior day.
The question should be: How does Pitt get itself ready for a double-bye?