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Where can UConn men’s basketball finish in the Big East?

The Huskies control their own destiny to the No. 3 seed, but it gets interesting with a loss to Creighton.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

It’s officially March. Not only is it the first day of the month, but the first men’s conference tournament opened up on Monday night, as CCSU beat Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round of the Northeast Conference Tournament, while the Atlantic Sun, Horizon and Patriot League tournaments all begin procedings Tuesday night.

The Big East Tournament does not start until March 9 and Providence has already locked up the regular season title and the No. 1 seed, but with 10 conference games to go before the conclusion of the regular season on Saturday, there is still much to be decided as far as seeding and which teams will be forced to play four games in four days to try and win the Big East Tournament Championship.

UConn is one of the hottest teams in the conference as winners of five straight games, including a top-10 win over Villanova at home on Feb. 22. The Huskies cannot jump the Wildcats and reach the No. 2 seed without help, but as a result of their sweep over Marquette, Dan Hurley’s squad cannot fall past No. 4, as they own the tiebreaker with the Golden Eagles. Currently, UConn occupies the No. 3 seed with a one-game lead over Wednesday’s opponent, Creighton.

Big East Men’s Basketball Standings- March 1

Team Wins Losses Winning Percentage Remaining Games
Team Wins Losses Winning Percentage Remaining Games
Providence 14 2 0.875 @Villanova
Villanova 14 4 0.778 Providence, @Butler
UConn 12 5 0.706 @Creighton, DePaul
Creighton 11 6 0.647 UConn, Seton Hall
Marquette 10 7 0.588 @DePaul, St. John's
Seton Hall 9 8 0.529 Georgetown, @Creighton
Xavier 7 10 0.412 @St. John's, Georgetown
St. John's 7 10 0.412 Xavier, @Marquette
Butler 6 13 0.316 Villanova
DePaul 5 13 0.278 Marquette, @UConn
Georgetown 0 17 0.000 @Seton Hall, @Xavier

Here are the possible outcomes for UConn men’s basketball after the next five days of games.

UConn finishes second if...

UConn finishes 2-0 against Creighton and DePaul AND Villanova finishes 0-2 against Providence and Butler.

UConn would receive a first-round bye and play the winner of the No. 7 seed and No. 10 seed’s first-round game in a quarterfinal at 7 p.m. on March 10.

UConn finishes third if...

UConn beats Creighton

OR

UConn beats DePaul AND Creighton loses to Seton Hall.

UConn would receive a first-round bye and play the winner of the No. 6 seed and No. 11 seed’s first-round game in a quarterfinal at 9:30 p.m. on March 10.

UConn finishes fourth if...

UConn finishes 1-1 against Creighton and DePaul AND Creighton finishes 2-0 against UConn and Seton Hall

OR

UConn finishes 0-2 against Creighton and DePaul.

UConn would receive a first-round bye and play the No. 5 seed in a quarterfinal at 2:30 p.m. on March 10.

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For UConn, it’s a simple proposition. With a win against Creighton on Wednesday, which will be without Ryan Nembhard, who suffered a season-ending wrist injury against St. John’s on Feb. 23, the Huskies will secure at least the No. 3 seed and play in the evening session in the quarterfinal before what should be a raucous and pro-UConn crowd. If the Huskies lose that game, they would need to beat DePaul on Saturday and rely on the Bluejays to drop a home game to Seton Hall to avoid being pushed to the afternoon session, which would likely damper the fan advantage UConn would have. This would also force the Huskies to play against a team that is as rested as they are, with both the No 4 and No. 5 seeds earning first-round byes.