There are five games left on the Big East women's basketball schedule before the conference tournament starts on Saturday: one tonight and the remaining four tomorrow. Here's what has been settled for sure:
- DePaul (14-3) has won the regular season title
- Butler (9-8) will finish sixth
- Seton Hall (7-10) will finish seventh
- Providence (2-15) will finish tenth
That's it. There is a two way tie for second and a two way tie for fourth place right now, and the teams in eighth and ninth place are only a game apart in the standings and they split their season series.
So yeah, it's a mess. Let's try to see what's could happen to shore up the standings for everyone else, and we'll go in descending order according to the standings at the moment on BigEast.com
St. John's (12-5)
Remaining Game: at Providence (2-15)
The Red Storm were ranked #22 in the country at one point and now they've lost four in a row, including the last two at home. This is probably the easiest one to solve: Come away from Rhode Island with a win against the woeful Friars and St. John's locks up the #2 seed and one of two games against a bottom four team playing their second game in two days. If St. John's finds a way to lose their fifth in a row, things get confusing fast. The Red Storm split their season series with both Marquette and Creighton, so depending on how the tiebreakers shake out, St. John's could fall from the clear favorite to win the league to fourth place in just a span of 15 days.
Remaining Game: vs Butler (9-8)
Lurking in the back of the Bluejays' mind right now: a 58-52 loss to the Bulldogs on January 18th. That loss is the only one to a team in the bottom half of the standings, and it's currently anchoring Creighton to third place in the league. The good news is that Creighton is undefeated at home in league play this season, winning games by an average margin of 15.1 points. A win could move them up to second, and a loss could drop them to fourth. Getting a chance to play a team coming off a game the day before could prove advantageous for Creighton's NCAA chances after having a four game win streak snapped by Marquette on Saturday.
Remaining Game: vs Marquette (11-6)
As you can tell, a lot of what's going to happen with the standings hinges on the final game on the Wildcats' schedule. One team will finish 12-6 and possibly as high as second place, the other will finish alone in fifth place. After reeling off six straight wins in the middle of league play, Villanova has split their last two games: wins at home against Georgetown and on the road against Xavier and losses on the road against both St. John's and DePaul. The wins were close affairs, while the losses were both by double digits, and given the quality of opponents and the narrow two point margin in Milwaukee back on New Year's Eve, head coach Harry Perretta can't be terribly confident in his team right now.
Remaining Game: at Villanova (11-6)
Things that will go down as massive regrets on the Marquette season: Two point home losses to Villanova and St. John's, a four point home loss to Butler, an overtime road loss to Seton Hall where they blew a lead, and a road loss to DePaul where a frantic comeback was started from too deep of a hole. If you're counting along, yes, that's five of Marquette's six losses this season which puts them approximately five, maybe six possessions, or even six turnovers on the season away from first place. And yet, Marquette sits here losing a tiebreaker for fourth place with an outside crack at second place with a win over the Wildcats and some help from Providence and Butler.
Remaining Game: at DePaul (14-3)
Let's be honest: between firing their coach just weeks before the season started and losing their top recruit and noted shoe thrower just games into the season, Georgetown's done okay for themselves. They're locked into the 8/9 game on Saturday night with Seton Hall and Providence locked into their spots, so unless Natalie Butler and crew can rally the magic that led to the upset of St. John's two weeks ago, the Hoyas may have hit the high point of wins on their slate.
Remaining Game: at Seton Hall (7-10)
It hasn't been a stellar entry to the Big East for the Musketeers, but we pretty much knew that was going to happen after their home loss to Longwood and their 25 point outing against Cincinnati. They've lost 11 in a row, so it's almost hard to believe that they were 3-3 in league play with a win over St. John's at one point. It was a home loss to Seton Hall that kicked off their current losing streak, so I'm sure they'd like to reverse that trend and bump up one spot in the standings heading into the tournament.