The Big East men’s soccer season draws to a close on Wednesday with all 10 teams in action. Thanks to the scheduling gods giving Georgetown and DePaul home games on the final day, not everyone will be starting at the same time, but it’s still the final chance for teams to make a move in regards to their Big East tournament seeding, or, in one case, pushing their way into the field.
We’ll go through the standings from the top down and let you know 1) where they are now, 2) who they’re playing on Wednesday, and 3) where they could end up in the tournament field, win, lose, or draw.
I’ll warn you about this off the top, though: Villanova, Seton Hall, and DePaul have all been eliminated from postseason play already.
Ready? Here we go.
Butler - 7-1-0, 21 points
Final Match: vs Xavier, 6pm Central, Big East Digital Network
This one is quick. The Bulldogs have already locked up the regular season championship and the #1 seed in the tournament, thus giving them home field advantage in both the semifinals and the finals.
Georgetown - 5-2-1, 16 points
Final Match: vs Creighton, 1pm Central, Big East Digital Network
St. John’s - 5-2-1, 16 points
Final Match: at Providence, 6pm Central, Big East Digital Network
These two go together since they’re knotted even in the standings right now. Whatever goes for one, goes for the other.
As mentioned above, neither one can win the league now, so they’re gutting it out for the second semifinal home game and the bye out of the quarterfinals. St. John’s holds the head-to-head tiebreaker in the standings if it comes to that, so while the league currently lists them in this order, St. John’s is currently holding the #2 seed. If they both win, St. John’s is two, Georgetown is three, as neither team can be caught from behind.
If one or the other lose or draw, that’s where it gets interesting. Draws or losses open the door to Xavier (15 points) leapfrogging the team (or teams) with a draw for second place if the Musketeers win. A loss combined with a Xavier draw means a tie at 16 points. Could be two team, could be three team. In case of a two-team tie with Xavier, the Musketeers have the head-to-head advantage on Georgetown, but St. John’s has control going the other way.
Worst case scenario for the Hoyas and the Red Storm is a fourth place finish.
Xavier - 5-3-0, 15 points
Final Match: at Butler, 6pm Central, Big East Digital Network
With a four point margin between themselves and the team currently in fifth place, Xavier can’t dip lower than fourth.
The door is open to a bye out of the first round, though, but Xavier is going to need help. Step one: They have to get points off of the Bulldogs. Preferably three with a win, but they’d still need both Georgetown and St. John’s to lose or draw in that case. If Xavier gets a draw with Butler, then they will absolutely need a loss from both Georgetown and St. John’s, and even then, it’s not a guarantee. That would create a three-way tie for second place at 16 points, and that brings in the mini-conference tiebreaker rules, and who knows what can happen when you invite those problems.
Creighton - 3-3-2, 11 points
Final Match: at Georgetown, 1pm Central, Big East Digital Network
The Jays are the first team on our rundown that is not officially in the field as of yet. At 11 points, they can still get passed by two teams and find themselves in seventh place and out of the bracket. That makes it simple then: win, and keep their bags packed for a first round game at the #4 seed, as Creighton can’t finish better than fifth.
Creighton will still make it in with a draw against Georgetown, but only as long as either Providence or Marquette lose or draw in their game. A CU draw along with wins by both PC and MU puts the Jays out. Even with a loss to the Hoyas, Creighton will still have hope, but they will need a loss by either Providence or Marquette for that to work out for them. Marquette has the head-to-head advantage on Creighton in case of a tie, while Providence and Creighton went to a scoreless draw and that means a deeper dive into the tiebreakers if they knot up at 11.
Providence - 2-2-4, 10 points
Final Match: vs St. John’s, 6pm Central, Big East Digital Network
Marquette - 3-4-1, 10 points
Final Match: at DePaul, noon Central, Big East Digital Network
I was under the impression that the current standings display things with tiebreakers activated, but with St. John’s below Georgetown even with the head-to-head advantage, I can’t guarantee that. The point is that Providence is tied with Marquette in the standings after drawing with the Golden Eagles in the regular season, so it’s up in the air as to who actually holds sixth place right now.
Here’s the deal, as best as I can tell: If Providence wins, they’re in for sure. A draw for the Friars means that they’re hoping Marquette loses OR Marquette draws and Creighton loses. A loss for the Friars means they need a Marquette loss to make their way in. I think.
For Marquette, they need help. If the Golden Eagles win, they need a Providence loss or draw OR a Creighton loss. In case of a draw, Marquette will need both a Providence loss or draw AND a Creighton loss. If Marquette loses, they may still get in if Providence loses. I think. Maybe.
The good news, such as it is, is that Marquette’s match is first on the docket, and Creighton’s match is second. We will have a pretty firm understanding of what’s happening for the Golden Eagles in the final table by the time the evening matches start.