Pitt's Big East Seeding Scenarios

The Pitt men's basketball team can secure a top-four spot and double-bye for next week's Big East Conference Tournament with just one win in its final two regular-season games, but there are many scenarios concerning seeding and depending how the Panthers and several other schools finish.

Pittsburgh (22-7, 11-5) plays host to Providence (12-16, 4-12) tonight at 9 (on ESPN 2) and Rutgers (15-14, 5-11) Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Another key game is West Virginia (23-6, 12-5) at Villanova (24-5, 13-4) Saturday at noon.

Syracuse (28-2, 15-2) has the No. 1 seed wrapped up, but Pitt can be the No. 2 seed if it beats both Providence and Rutgers and West Virginia knocks off Villanova to create a three-way tie behind the Orange at 13-5. The Panthers have the tie-breaker with a 2-1 mark and wins against both and a loss to WVU. The Mountaineers would be third at 2-2, and Villanova would be fourth at 1-2.

Even with two wins to end the season, Pitt would be the third seed if Villanova beats the Mountaineers. The Wildcats would be No. 2 with WVU fourth. The Panthers also would be the No. 3 seed if it goes 1-1 in last two games; Nova beats WVU Saturday and Marquette holds off Notre Dame Saturday to create a three-way tie at 12-6.

Notre Dame (20-10, 9-8) is at Marquette (20-9, 11-6) Saturday at 2 p.m.

The teams would be seeded this way: Pitt would be third with WVU fourth and Marquette fifth since the tie-breaker goes into a mini-conference. Pitt would be 2-1 with WVU 2-1 and Marquette at 0-2. Since the Panthers and Mountaineers would have identical records, the next scenario would be record against No. 1. Pitt has beaten Syracuse, while WVU lost to the Orange.

The Panthers can be the fourth seed with with a 1-1 record to close out the season and WVU defeats Villanova Saturday. The Mountaineers would be third at 13-5, while Pitt would be fourth at 12-6. The Panthers have the tie-breaker against Marquette with a win even if the Golden Eagles defeat Notre Dame.

Pitt also can be fourth if it goes 0-2, but Marquette loses to Notre Dame. Both teams would be tied at 11-7, but the Panthers have the tie-breaker in head-to-head action with a 58-51 road win.

Pitt also can be the No. 5 seed with an 0-2 mark to end the season to finish at 11-7 in the Big East. If Marquette beats Notre Dame, it will be 12-6 to take the No. 4 seed ahead of the Panthers.

The first round at the Big East Tournament begins with the No. 9 seed facing the No. 16 seed Tuesday at noon at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The No. 12 and No. 13 seeds play at 2 p.m., while the No. 10 and No. 15 seeds meet at 7 p.m. and the No. 11 and No. 14 seeds are matched at 9 p.m.

The No. 8 seed has a bye until Wednesday and a matchup against the Game 1 winner at noon. The Game 2 survivor faces the No. 5 seed at 2 p.m., while the No. 7 seed takes on the Game 3 winner at 7 p.m. and the No. 6 seed faces the Game 4 winner at 9 p.m.

The No. 1 seed has a two-day bye until the noon game Thursday. The No. 4 seed plays at 2 p.m., while the No. 2 seed is in action at 7 p.m. and the No. 3 seed is matched with the 9 p.m. slot. The semifinals are at 7 and 9 p.m. Friday, and the Big East Tournament title game is Saturday at 9 p.m.

The opening-day games will be televised nationally by ESPN 2, and the remaining Tourney games will be on ESPN national telecasts.

The only other game tonight has Seton Hall at Rutgers at 7 on ESPN.

Current Big East Standings

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