In fact, there are only two things we can say for certain. 1) While we don't know their eventual seeds, we know five of the six teams that will participate in the 2013 Big East tournament, and 2) DePaul will not be one of them. The Blue Demons have not won a match in league play all season, and with only one draw to their name on the year, they're the only team that can't still qualify for a slot in the tournament.
This leaves us the other nine teams to consider. We'll go one by one, in order according to their current standings, and break down what each team has to gain and lose heading into the final game of the regular season.
1) Marquette (6-1-1, 19 points) - It's very simple: Beat the winless Blue Demons in Chicago on Friday afternoon and win the Big East regular season title. Of course, if that doesn't quite work out, the Golden Eagles still have their one point lead on Xavier and three point lead on Georgetown to rely on. A loss or draw by the Musketeers combined with a loss or draw by the Hoyas will still give MU the top seed in the conference tournament. Even a loss or draw by just one of them will still give MU a bye in the quarterfinals. Of course, there's also the worst case scenario: a loss to DePaul and wins by Xavier & Georgetown, and Marquette hosts a quarterfinal match next week Tuesday.
2) Xavier (6-2-0, 18 points) - A win over Butler in the final Big East match on the schedule will clinch a quarterfinal bye for the Musketeers, as they own the head to head tiebreaker over Georgetown. Combine it with a Marquette loss and Xavier wins the regular season crown. Heck, even a draw would give XU a bye as they hold a head to head tiebreaker with Georgetown. But a loss and a Georgetown win knocks Xavier down to hosting a quarterfinal match.
3) Georgetown (5-2-1, 16 points) - Because of the luck of the draw in the scheduling, the teams currently in fourth and fifth place play each other on Friday, so only one would be capable of surpassing the Hoyas, thus guaranteeing them no worse than hosting a quarterfinal match. If they beat Villanova on Friday, then they have to see what else happens. If Marquette and Xavier both stumble to losses, Georgetown wins the regular season title. If only one loses, GU earns a bye to the semifinals. Draws by the Golden Eagles or Musketeers will not help Georgetown at all.
4) Providence (5-3-0, 15 points) - At 15 points and a loss to Xavier on their record, a bye in the quarterfinals is off the table for the Friars. But, the good news is that they play fifth place Creighton on Friday afternoon, so the winner of that match gets to host a quarterfinals match. If it goes to a draw, Providence still gets to host the match. If Providence loses, they slide to fifth and will have to travel or the quarterfinals next Tuesday. If Providence wins and lucks into a Georgetown loss, they would jump up to third place and host whoever emerges from the mosh pit at the bottom of the standings.
5) Creighton (4-3-1, 13 points) - If you read the Providence paragraph, you already know how most of this is going to go. A win over the Friars means they host a quarterfinals match, but where they end up in the standings is up in the air. Without being able to determine the Big East's tiebreakers due to lack of information on the website, we don't know what would happen if Creighton wins and Georgetown loses. That scenario would give both squads 16 points, and after playing a scoreless draw earlier this season, it's impossible to say who would get the tiebreaker and land in third place. The good news is that Creighton can't drop any lower than fifth place in case of a draw or loss against Providence.
6) Butler, Seton Hall, and Villanova (3-5-0, 6 points) - With Creighton's four point lead, these three teams (and ninth place St. John's) are fighting it for the sixth and final spot. I have no idea what the tiebreakers are for a three team tie, so I don't know who currently has the advantage. Instead of trying to come up with a creative way to say the same thing three times, here's the simple version: Win and hope the other two lose or draw. Butler is either in the best or worst situation, as their match against Xavier is the last match of the conference schedule. For what it's worth: Butler holds the head to head tiebreakers over both SHU & VU, while the Pirates have the head to head advantage on the Wildcats.
9) St. John's (2-4-2, 8 points) - If Georgetown had either A) scored a goal while up a man for 47 minutes or B) not conceded a goal while up a man with 19 minutes left, I wouldn't be writing this paragraph. But, that happened, and here we are. There's only one scenario where the Red Storm get a spot in the Big East tournament. SJU has to go to Seton Hall and win, and then they need losses or draws by both Butler and Villanova. Simple, right?
For your observational convenience, here's the schedule for Friday, plus links to the live stats for each match.
12pm Central: Marquette at DePaul
1pm Central: Villanova at Georgetown
2pm Central: Creighton at Providence
2pm Central: St. John's at Seton Hall
6pm Central: Xavier at Butler
Georgetown and Marquette are your co-regular season champions!
1) Georgetown, 19 points
2) Marquette, 19 points
There's your two teams with quarterfinal byes.
3) Xavier, 18 points
4) Providence, 18 points
5) Creighton, 13 points
6) Butler, 11 points
Xavier will host Butler on Tuesday in one quarterfinal contest with the winner advancing to Friday and a semifinal with Marquette, while Providence and Creighton will have a rematch of their Saturday afternoon contest, location and all for the other quarterfinal match, with the winner moving on to a semifinal match against Georgetown.