FINAL UPDATE: Not only could UConn get the 9 seed, but they did. Here's the breakdown of how.
UPDATE: I said the Big East rules are confusing, and they sure as hell are. UConn can be the 9 apparently.
With UConn's 74-65 win over Pittsburgh in the books, UConn
now knows they are is probably the tenth seed in the Big East tournament. There are a few moving pieces still, but with West Virginia beating South Florida none of it matters some of it still matters. Here's why:
If Seton Hall loses tonight they'll fall to 8-10 in the Big East, which ties them with UConn at 8-10 in the Big East. The Big East tiebreaker rules are insanely complex, but it works out like this:
- UConn and Seton Hall split their regular season series, so that's no help.
- The next step is to look at the team's records against the top team in the league, which is Syracuse. Since neither Seton Hall nor UConn beat the Orange, we go down in the standings team by team until someone has an advantage.
- Here is where things get confusing: depending on tiebreakers Marquette, Georgetown or Notre Dame all could end up in second place.
- Marquette beat UConn and Seton Hall so we can throw them out.
- The next team could be either Georgetown or Notre Dame. To make things interesting, let's assume it's Notre Dame.
- UConn went 1-1 against Notre Dame and Seton Hall went 0-1. However that DOES NOT mean that UConn wins the tiebreaker. Big East rules state that if the teams played an unequal amount of games and the team with with the worse record (Seton Hall) could tie the other team if they played an equal amount of games (meaning the Pirates could theoretically win and improve to 1-1), then the tie is not broken and you move to the next team.
- That team is Georgetown. Seton Hall went 1-0 against the Hoyas and UConn went 0-1. Seton Hall has the tiebreaker.
- UPDATE: As was pointed out to me on twitter, if we get a situation where Georgetown beats Marquette and Seton Hall loses, Marquette, Notre Dame and Georgetown will all be tied. Instead of going team-by-team like I did above, UConn and Seton Hall get compared to a mini-conference of Marquette, ND and GTown. The result of that is Seton Hall 1-2, UConn 1-3, which is a wash. Then you'd move to the next team, South Florida, where UConn would finally win the tie breaker.