Breaking down Marquette’s Big East tournament possibilities

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Photo by Maggie Bean

There is plenty to resolve within the Big East conference as the final day of the regular season approaches. Entering Saturday’s slate of games, only Villanova (1st) and Xavier (6th) have secured their seeds for the tournament at Madison Square Garden.

Marquette can only get as high as ninth in the conference, but Saturday’s outcomes will have an impact on who the Golden Eagles draw in the first round of the tournament and who they could battle if they win their first game.

Here is a breakdown of each of the possible scenarios.

Marquette beats DePaul, Georgetown beats Seton Hall, Creighton loses to Xavier

This scenario might be the most likely to happen. Marquette hosts DePaul and Seton Hall is playing arguably the worst basketball in the conference right now and will face a Georgetown team with plenty to play for.

Since Marquette and Creighton split their season series, the second tiebreaker simply comes down to best conference win. Marquette’s best win is over Providence, while Creighton’s best victory came against St. John’s. Marquette would surpass Creighton for the ninth seed.

Tiebreakers also come into play when deciding who Marquette will open the tournament against. Seton Hall and DePaul will sport matching 6-12 conference records, but the Blue Demons swept the Pirates in the regular season. That means the Golden Eagles will take on Seton Hall in the first round in the 8 vs. 9 matchup at 6 p.m. CT Wednesday night.

Also worth nothing, Marquette would draw mighty Villanova at 11 a.m. Thursday if they defeated Seton Hall.

Marquette loses to DePaul, Georgetown beats Seton Hall, Providence beats Butler

Marquette finishes 10th no matter what happens to Creighton if it drops Saturday’s game to the Blue Demons. DePaul would then have a 7-11 record in Big East play, compared to Seton Hall’s 6-12 record. This means Marquette would play DePaul in a rematch four days later in the 7 vs. 10 matchup at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night.

In this scenario, Marquette would avoid Villanova and face two-seed Providence in the quarterfinals if the Golden Eagles win their first-round matchup. This is because Providence swept Georgetown in the regular season.

If Marquette somehow knocked off Providence, it would then face the winner of the Georgetown-Xavier quarterfinal contest.

Marquette loses to DePaul, Georgetown beats Seton Hall, Butler beats Providence 

The same would apply as above, except Marquette would face Georgetown instead of Providence if the Golden Eagles beat DePaul in the first round because the Hoyas swept Butler in the regular season.

Marquette beats DePaul, Seton Hall beats Georgetown

It’s hard to expect Seton Hall to knock off the Hoyas on the road, but if they did, Marquette and DePaul would rematch at 6 p.m. Wednesday and Marquette would face the winner of Saturday’s game between Butler and Providence in the next round.

Marquette loses to DePaul, Seton Hall beats Georgetown 

The same exact scenario would take place as the prior one, but Marquette would play DePaul in the 8:30 time slot as the seventh and 10th seeds.

Marquette’s chances of advancing into the weekend are quite bleak, but the best road to make an improbable run to Friday’s semifinals would likely be through the second scenario. DePaul is likely a tougher first-round matchup than Seton Hall, but the Golden Eagles have already beaten Providence once and gave them a bit of a scare at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Mar. 22.

Although a rematch against DePaul pops up in four out of the five scenarios, the more probable scenario could involve a first round game against Seton Hall.