Eight teams are still alive for the 2014 Big East men's soccer tournament. St. John's, at 1-6-1 and four points, can't catch the current sixth place team, and thus, they're out. Ninth place DePaul has five points at 1-5-2, but they'd lose a tiebreaker with Butler, so they're out.
Everyone else is either still alive or already clinched a berth. However, only one seed - fifth place - has been locked down. Part of that is how the schedule and the standings matched up for the final two days of the regular season, and part of that is the number of ties between teams this year. 10 matches on the schedule ended in a draw, which eliminated one point from the board and kept teams a little closer than perhaps expected.
We'll walk you through what each team is either looking and/or hoping for in the final match of the regular season in regards to the conference tournament. The top two teams receive byes in the quarterfinals and proceed directly to the semifinals at PPL Park in Philadelphia next week Friday, while teams at #3 and #4 will host the fifth and sixth place teams in the quarterfinals next Tuesday.
Creighton (6-1-1, 19 points)
Things are always simple at the top. A Bluejays win means Creighton wins the regular season title outright, as no one could come close to their theoretical 22 points. A draw with the Friars means that Creighton would be hoping that Xavier loses or draws with Butler, otherwise Xavier leaps them in the standings and CU drops to #2. A loss here could push Creighton as far as #4, as Providence is the team in second place, and a Musketeer win would still move Xavier past Creighton, plus a Georgetown win would move the Hoyas into a tie with CU at 19. GU won the head-to-head meeting earlier this year.
Providence (5-1-2, 17 points)
As is the case with Creighton, a win means Providence is the #1 seed. It's still possible that they would have to share the regular season title with Xavier, but however the tiebreakers shake out because XU and PC drew 0-0 in the regular season, the Friars get the top spot. A draw could keep them in second place, but they'd need a draw or loss by both Xavier and Georgetown. If Providence were to lose to Creighton, they would need both Xavier and Georgetown to lose to keep second place. In case of a loss, any points by Xavier pushes them past Providence, while only a win by Georgetown would get them in front of the Friars.
Xavier (5-1-2, 17 points)
Final Match: vs Butler, Friday, 6pm Central (Live Stats)
If you've read the first two scenarios, then you know that the Musketeers need help in bunches. A win would clinch no worse than the #2 seed. A win and a draw between Creighton and Providence makes XU the #1 seed and outright regular season champions. A win and three points being issued in CU-PC puts the Musketeers in second place, but if it's Providence that wins, Xavier gets to share the regular season title while finishing as the #2 seed.
If Xavier draws with Butler, then they're hoping for a Providence loss, which would still get them to #2. A draw and a Creighton loss, combined with a Georgetown loss keeps Xavier at the third seed. If the Hoyas win or draw, a loss or draw by Xavier drops them down to the #4 slot.
Georgetown (5-2-1, 16 points)
It sucks to be Georgetown. At 16 points, they could catch the team that's currently in first place. But because of the randomness of the schedule, if that first place team loses, it will vault a different team in front of the Hoyas. The best they can do with a win over the Wildcats is the #2 seed, regardless of how the Creighton-PC match goes. Even then, they still need a loss or draw by Xavier to get there. A draw means they'll need an Xavier loss to move to #3, otherwise it's fourth place for Georgetown, even with a loss.
Villanova (3-3-2, 11 points)
The Wildcats are boring. They'll be the #5 seed regardless of what happens around them, and they'll travel to play whoever ends up as the #4 seed next Tuesday. A win would guarantee them a rematch with Georgetown, though, but they'd have to travel to Washington, D.C. for it.
Butler (2-4-2, 8 points)
Final Match: at Xavier, Friday, 6pm Central (Live Stats)
Win, and they're in the Big East tournament as the #6 seed. With a draw, they'll need a Marquette loss to get in. The Bulldogs will already know what happened to Seton Hall on Thursday night, so they'll know that if the Pirates had already won, a loss will definitely put them out, regardless of what happens in the Marquette-DePaul game.
Marquette (1-3-4, 7 points)
A win is no longer good enough for the Golden Eagles. They'll need Butler to lose or draw as well. That's it. That's the only scenario available for Marquette at this point. A loss or draw against the Blue Demons eliminates Marquette from the Big East tournament and likely postseason play all together.
Seton Hall (1-4-3, 6 points)
Final Match: at St. John's, Thursday, 6:30pm Central (Big East Digital Network, Live Stats)
UPDATE (Friday, 8:15am): Seton Hall defeated St. John's 1-0 on Thursday, on a 56th minute goal from Andrew LoManto. The Pirates now wait for Friday night's results.
The Pirates HAVE TO WIN. There's still moving parts after that, though. If Butler ties, then Seton Hall is out. If Butler wins, Seton Hall is out. If Marquette wins, Seton Hall is out.