Double Bye ScenariosThe Big East Tournament begins Tuesday, March 6 in New York City.
Double Bye teams (the Big East's Top Four finishers) need win only three games to claim the Big East Tournament Championship, playing Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
Notre Dame would clinch a double bye for the conference tournament as well, finishing as high as second-place and no lower than third (should Marquette finish 2-0).
1-1 Finish: Should the Irish win one of their next two games, they could finish as high as No. 2 and as low as No. 4. The fourth-place scenario is only possible if the Hoyas finish 2-0.
A 1-1 finish would provide the Irish a double-bye as well due to a head-to-head tiebreaker vs. South Florida (11-5: the Bulls could finish 13-5 with wins vs. a murderous ending to its conference slate, as highlighted below).
In short: if Notre Dame wins one game this week, it earns a double bye.
Single Bye ScenarioA single bye would give the Irish a Wednesday game (March 7) vs. a team from the league's lower half; one that won its first round game on Tuesday (March 6). Single Bye teams must win four games to win the Big East Tournament Championship, playing Wednesday through Saturday.
0-2 Finish: Could drop the Irish as low as No. 6 in the final regular season standings. For that to occur, Cincinnati (10-6) must finish 2-0 as the Bearcats are the only Big East team currently among its top nine to hold a head-to-head tiebreaker vs. the Irish (with Georgetown pending tonight).
Worst Case Scenario for the Irish: Notre Dame has clinched at least a first-round bye and is guaranteed no lower than sixth in the conference.
Remaining SchedulesA look at the schedules of each team in the running for a Double Bye in the upcoming Big East Tournament (March 6-10):
Syracuse (16-1): vs. Louisville
Marquette (13-3): at Cincinnati, Georgetown
Notre Dame (12-4): at Georgetown, Providence
Georgetown (11-5): Notre Dame, at Marquette
South Florida (11-5): at Louisville, West Virginia
Cincinnati (10-6): Marquette, at Villanova
Note: Notre Dame holds tiebreakers vs. Syracuse, Marquette, South Florida and Louisville, with Georgetown pending. Cincinnati beat the Irish in early January, 71-55.
Current Big East StandingsOf the group, Notre Dame lost to #6 Cincinnati, #10 St. John's and #11 Rutgers on the road while falling to #9 Connecticut at home. The Irish avenged losses to both Rutgers (in South Bend) and Connecticut (in Storrs).
- Syracuse 16-1: The Orange are ranked second nationally, losing only to Notre Dame this season. Syracuse has clinched the top seed and Big East regular season championship.
- Marquette 13-3: Have won 13 of 14, losing only to the Irish since a January 7 defeat at Syracuse. Each of the Golden Eagles three losses are to the teams among the top four in the Big East Standings.
- Notre Dame 12-4: Had won nine straight including four in a row on the road before Saturday's 61-58 loss to St. John's at The Garden.
- Georgetown 11-5: Can overtake Irish for third place with a win in D.C. tonight, though the Hoyas finish at third-place Marquette, a team they defeated 73-70 at the outset of the conference season.
- South Florida 11-5: If not for the Irish, the scrappy, methodical Bulls would be the league's biggest surprise. Defeated Cincinnati last night in Tampa, 46-45.
- Cincinnati 10-6: Loss last night to South Florida gave the Irish a win-one-and-in scenario in their quest for the double bye. Cincinnati is the only team among the league's top nine to defeat Notre Dame this season.
- Louisville 10-6: Must finish the season at Syracuse on the Orange's Senior Night. Cannot attain a double-bye due to tie-breaking scenarios vs. Georgetown, Cincinnati and Notre Dame, vs. whom the Cardinals finished 0-3.
- Seton Hall 8-9: Would likely be the league's eighth team in the NCAA Tournament provided it can avoid a season-ending loss at DePaul.
- Connecticut 7-9: Defending NCAA and Big East Tournament Champions are in jeopardy of missing the Big Dance but have been given the gift of opportunity with concluding contests vs. Providence and punch-less Pittsburgh. The Huskies are ineligible for the 2013 NCAA Tournament next spring.
- West Virginia 7-9: Swept by the Irish this season month and in a free fall, losing seven of nine.
- St. John's 6-10: Five-man freshmen roster could be a handful next season if NBA prospect Moe Harkless spends one more season in Queens.
- Rutgers 5-11: Free-firing guards and their aggressive perimeter defense could make earn the Scarlet Knights an upset in the Big East Tourney
- Pittsburgh 4-12: The league's most disappointing team is playing out the string in a highly uncharacteristic season.
- Villanova 4-12: Two-year downward spiral hit rock bottom for Jay Wright whose Wildcats team played in the 2009 Final Four.
- Providence 3-13: Concludes a rough first season for head coach Ed Cooley with games against Connecticut and at Notre Dame.
- DePaul 2-14: Two-point loss to Providence on February 25 likely sealed its last place fate.