The Big East has started the process of reassembling the schedule for Marquette women’s basketball. The Golden Eagles are currently on a pause in activity due to a positive COVID-19 test in the program. They postponed three games as a result of said pause, and one of them is back on the board.
On Sunday, February 7th, Marquette will play host to DePaul Blue Demons. That is the game that was originally scheduled for Sunday, January 3rd. FS1 was supposed to televise the January version of the game, and they will pick up the broadcast for the February date as well. Tipoff time will be determined at a later date.
That leaves the January 6 game at Creighton and the January 9 game at home against Villanova still in postponement purgatory. Marquette has a gap in their schedule between hosting Creighton on February 17th and visiting DePaul on February 24th, but that’s really only space for one game. I don’t think it’s in anybody’s best interest for Marquette to try to wedge four games in an eight day stretch, and everywhere else on the schedule only has Marquette taking two or three, maybe four days off between games. I think it’s reasonable to suspect that the Big East had an interest in getting a game between two teams with clear NCAA possibilities back on the board..... but maybe not so much for the other two games that still need a date.
After all, the goal is 13 games to be NCAA tournament eligible. Marquette has played seven games so far this season, and there are 15 league games currently scheduled to be played. Just running through what you can get played seems to be the most likely path forward here. As of January 6th, the day before the Big East announced the Marquette/DePaul update, five of the 11 women’s basketball programs in the league were all on a COVID pause at the same time: St. John’s, Marquette, Georgetown, Creighton, and Xavier, with the Musketeers being the most recent addition to the list. Alexa Phillippou of the Hartford Courant did the math so I don’t have to: The Big East has played 20 of their 110 league games so far. By the first week of March, the league has to play 90 games if they want everyone to play the full 20 game schedule.
That doesn’t seem very likely, does it?
If the Big East elects to forego a conference tournament and assign their NCAA tournament automatic bid to their regular season champion, that does buy them a little extra time to get games in. Not much, but a little. I could see a possibility of using Mohegan Sun Casino, the host of the conference tournament, as a limited run bubble situation. Everyone was expecting to go there for the tournament anyway, so anyone who needs to make up a game goes to Mohegan Sun to play their make up games instead of the tournament.
We’ll see what happens, I guess.
Marquette is scheduled to play their next game on Friday, January 15th. That’s a road game at Seton Hall, with tipoff on FloHoops set for noon Central. It would be the front end of an old-school trip to New York City, as MU is scheduled to play St. John’s at Carnesecca Arena two days later.