Here's a quick look at the Big East Tournament landscape:
Out: South Florida
Three of the six teams on the bubble won't make it to New York next week. Which three teams will watch from the sidelines? If it comes down to a tie, Louisville owns the head-to-head tie-breaker against Providence, Notre Dame and DePaul. St. John's and Rutgers, thanks to home wins over the Cards, would win a head-to-head tie with Louisville.
Heading into the final week of the regular season, here's how things stand:
St. John's (5-9)
Notre Dame (4-10)
This week's lineup:
Louisville: Marquette, at UConn
Providence: Notre Dame, at Marquette
St. John's: at Villanova, Rutgers
Rutgers: at St. John's
Notre Dame: at Providence, DePaul
DePaul: Syracuse, at Notre Dame
Louisville has the toughest road. They must face a solid Marquette team led by Steve Novak, then travel to league leader UConn next weekend. Besides Louisville, only St. John's must face one of the league's top four teams.
What do the Cards have to do to get to New York. It's simple: win. In all likelihood, Louisville has to win at least one of their remaining two games. If they drop games to both Marquette and UConn this week, a trip to Madison Square Garden probably isn't going to materialize. If they split, they'll be in good shape to earn one of the final entries to New York.
If you're Louisville, here's what you're hoping for: Win at least one game; A Providence win over Notre Dame; A Rutgers win over St. John's on the road; A Marquette win over Providence at home; a Syracuse win at home over DePaul. Without a win, Louisville would need Providence to drop both of their remaining two games, Notre Dame to split, and hope DePaul doesn't win both games against Syracuse and Notre Dame.
By winning, Louisville puts its own destiny in their own hands. Without a win, the Cardinals must hope some of the other bubble teams can help them out. Clearly, the first situation is more preferable.