With Pitt beating UConn, U of L has a door open to winning the Big East regular season outright with a win in a supercharged Morgantown environment tonight. That would, I believe, give the Cards a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, barring a Big East Tourney meltdown.
Here’s how I see it. The Big East regular season champ (UConn in the event of a tie with U of L, the Cards if they win it outright) will get a No. 1 seed.
If there’s a three-way tie for first, the result will be decided by the Electoral College.
No, seriously. If there’s a clear No. 1 seed and Big East champ that emerges today, then .that team will get a No. 1 seed.
That makes the 2-3 side of the Big East Tournament bracket a playoff for a No. 1 seed. In fact, the 2-3 game — if it happens — could be the most important game of the tournament for seeding purposes.
If there’s a three-way tie for first, I think all the marbles stay on the table in the Big East Tournament, with NCAA seeding to be determined by the trio’s performance there.
If the Cats lose today, they’re down for the count — but not necessarily out. If they lose today, they play the opening game of the SEC Tournament against Alabama or Ole Miss. Should they get past that, the SEC road would include LSU and South Carolina. Those would constitute the kind of quality wins they need to fight back into the tournament.
If UK wins today, it will get Arkansas in the first round of the SEC Tournament next Thursday at 9:45 p.m. The winner gets Auburn. Those are winnable games for the Cats, but not games that do much of anything for your NCAA Tournament resume.
It think the magic number for UK is three. If it can win three games, in any fashion, it will scrape itself into the field. The easiest route to that would be to begin today.