"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Update: First round bye chances for MU

Another week. Another win under Tom Crean's belt. Time to look at the race for the first round bye in the Big East tournament.

To those who want the bottom line, MU must win out, and one of two things must happen:
a. WVU must beat Pitt on Big Monday, 2/27
b. If Pitt beats WVU, then Cincy must also beat the Mountaineers on March 4th

When we last analyzed the race, the conclusion was that MU's chances for a buy rested on an upcoming February 27 contest between West Virginia and Pittsburgh. WVU losing four of their last six places them in a must win situation themselves--they must win at least one more game for a first round bye.

MU remains in the hunt--other teams with a possiblility--Georgetown, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia.

As before, for MU to have a shot, there is no room for error. TwoThree weeks ago, we said MU needs to sweep the home slate, and take two of three on the road from Rutgers, ND, and Louisville. With wins over Pitt and Georgetown, and now a road win over ND, we only have to win at struggling Louisville, and hold court against Providence to finish 11-5.

West Virginia is 10-4 with games against Pitt and Cincy.
Home: Pitt
Away: Cincy
WVU is in the drivers seat. Win both games--third place. Win just one of these games, and the Mountaineers still clinch third place. Lose both games, and they'll have to count on at least one MU loss amd a USF upset of Georgetown to get a bye.

Seton Hall is 7-7 after back to back losses to St. Johns and DePaul
Home: Cincy
Away: Pitt
They're done as far as a bye. They could help out MU by taking Pitt on March 3rd, but don't count on this happening.

Georgetown has improved to 10-5 with wins over Syracuse and Rutgers. With only USF left, they're likely to go 11-5 as well.
Away: USF
To get the buy, they need to hope that MU and/or WVU falters against UL or Providence. Any tie for them that involveds MU or WVU puts them at the short end of the stick

Pitt is 10-4 after rebounding from the loss to Marquette and beating Providence.
Home: Seton Hall
Away: WVU
We're still predicting the split with WVU--since Pitt won the first game, that gives this one to the Mountaineers. Then, they likely take Providence. Final record: 11-5.

Marquette has helped themselves with a big road win over Notre Dame, with a record of 9-5.
Home: Providence
Away: Louisville
MU needs to take Louisville and Providence to finish 11-5.

Now, the tiebreakers. There's only two things you need to know right now:
1. Barring upsets by others in the hunt, MU must win both road games.
2. The season comes down to Pitt at WVU on 2/27.

First, as a remineder, here's how the Big East tiebreakers work.
From the Big East tie-breaking forumula,
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 mini-conference gains the advantage.

If Pitt beats WVU (and all other games go as predicted above) Pitt takes 3rd place and WVU, MU, Georgetown will be tied for 4th. The mini-conference would look like this:
WVU: 3-0 (beat MU, sweep over GT)
MU: 1-1 (beat Georgetown, loss to WVU)
Georgetown: 0-3 (loss MU, two losses to WVU)
MU takes 5th seed and plays the first day.

If Pitt beats WVU, and WVU also loses to Cincy, and all other games play out as above:
Pitt takes 3rd place at 12-4
MU and Georgetown are tied at 11-5
WVU is 6th at 10-4
MU wins the tiebreaker with Georgetown.

If WVU beats Pitt:
WVU takes 3rd and Pitt, MU and Georgetown will be tied. The miniconference:
MU: 2-1 (split with Pitt, win over Georgetown)
Georgetwon 1-1 (beat Pitt, lost to MU)
Pitt: 1-2 (Loss to Georgetown, win over MU)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

1) Pitt beats WVU,
2) Pitt loses to Seton Hall,
3) WVU loses to Cincy,
4) MU wins out,
5) Georgetown wins
then Marquette would get the 3 seed, right?

3. MU 11-5 (2-1)
4. Pitt 11-5 (1-2)
5. Gtown 11-5 (1-1)
6. WVU 10-6