Fighting For First

Syracuse still has an opportunity to reclaim the top seed in the Big East, but they will need help as six teams vie for the title.

A few games are all that separates the Big East Conference from the end of the regular season and the beginning of the conference tournament. Each of the teams below have an opportunity to take the Big East regular season title and, thus, the top spot in the conference tournament that follows. Here is how they can achieve this:

For the Georgetown Hoyas to win:

The Hoyas control their own destiny. If they win their final three games, Georgetown will have the regular season conference title outright.

If Georgetown goes 2-1 to end the season and Louisville wins out in their last three games, both teams will be tied at 14-4. In this scenario, the Hoyas will also win the conference because Georgetown beat Louisville head-to-head this season.

In the event of the Hoyas tying with the Golden Eagles for the top record in the Big East, the Hoyas would win the conference being that their record against the top of the conference is currently better.

For the Louisville Cardinals to win:

The Cardinals would win in the case of them finishing 3-0 and the Hoyas ending at 1-2, even if the Golden Eagles close at 3-0. Louisville defeated Marquette head-to-head, so a tie at 14-4, or in any case with Marquette, would favor Louisville if their records are better than Georgetown.

For the Marquette Golden Eagles to win:

Marquette needs to finish 3-0, have Louisville go 2-1, and Georgetown end at 1-2; a better conference record by the Golden Eagles than the Cardinals and Hoyas gives them the #1 spot.

For the Syracuse Orange to win:

Being the lone team to get to 13-5, meaning more losses for Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, and Notre Dame, would place Syracuse back at #1.

If the Orange and the Hoyas are tied at 13-5, the Orange will need to have won in their second opportunity against the Hoyas to bring the head-to-head series to a tie. Defeating Louisville again will only help Syracuse from there.

In the scenario of having the same conference record as the Cardinals, a 2-0 head-to-head record would give the Orange the advantage.

Syracuse losing to Louisville would make their head-to-head series even at 1-1, leaving Syracuse with the necessity of defeating Georgetown because Louisville has lost to Georgetown but have beaten Marquette, of whom Syracuse lost to when looking at the Orange and Cardinals' records versus the conference's top teams.

If Notre Dame and Syracuse are the only teams to reach 13-5, Syracuse would win the conference due to their head-to-head victory over Notre Dame.

For the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to win:

The best Notre Dame can finish is 13-5. If that is the best Big East record at the end of the season and the Irish are tied with the Cardinals, they currently would win the conference regular season title, but that all could change if the Cardinals defeat the Irish in both teams' last game of the season.

If Notre Dame beats Marquette in their upcoming match and both finish at 13-5, Notre Dame takes the conference.

For the Pittsburgh Panthers to win:

Pittsburgh has an opportunity to win the Big East if all of the top six end at 12-6. The Panthers defeated the Hoyas and the Orange head-to-head, hence giving the Panthers the edge. But, Marquette, Louisville, and Notre Dame hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Pittsburgh in the event that all end at 12-6.

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