Yesterday, we looked at the top five teams in the Big East standings, who, as we will find out, are not necessarily the five est positioned teams in the conference for a shot at the NCAA Tournament. Now we will examine some teams with a better claim as well as those who will be trying to play themselves into a postseason of any type.
6. Georgetown (6-6)
Most Recently: After opening conference play 2-0, the wheels fell off for the Hoyas, resulting in their dropping 6 of 7 to end January, the lone win an uninspiring one over Butler in OT. Since then, they have righted the ship in a big way rattling off four straight wins including a shocker over Michigan State and, most recently, an important win over Providence to pull even with the Friars in the standings. Georgetown's fate is well and truly in the balance as the season's end approaches, with big wins over VCU and Michigan State coupled with devastating losses to Northeastern and Seton Hall.
Prognosis: The schedule from here on in is not kind to the Hoyas. They play three times in a week at St. John's and Seton Hall before hosting Xavier, have only a trip to Marquette over the next nine days, and then close by playing Creighton and Villanova five days apart. There is resume fodder out there for Georgetown to take, but the test will be if their legs can withstand the odd scheduling.
7. St. John's (5-6)
Most Recently: The Red Storm got themselves back into the tournament conversation with a huge win over Creighton, their 6th in 7 games. A non-conference schedule where they failed to take either of their chances at a marquee win (Wisconsin and Syracuse) and an 0-5 start to conference play are really holding them back at this point from being considered as anything more than a bubble team.
Prognosis: If St. John's can continue to play like they have in the last three weeks, their February 16th meeting with Georgetown will be a significant one. Playing Nova and Xavier three days apart is probably not what Steve Lavin would have picked, but it does give them an opportunity to punch their long awaited return to the NCAA's premier event.
8. Seton Hall (4-7)
Most Recently: The Pirates find themselves on a two game losing streak, with Villanova and Marquette being the benefactors, and nowhere near tournament talk that doesn't involve the acronym NIT. Pretty much all you need to know about their tournament resume was that their non-conference losses were Oklahoma, Mercer, Farleigh Dickinson, and St. Peter's.
Prognosis: In their four remaining home games, the Pirates have an excellent chance at determining who will be going to the tournament. They play host to St. John's, Georgetown, Providence, and Xavier. Losses at Seton Hall for any of those teams would be problematic for their chances of survival. Beat all four and... yeah Seton Hall still can't make it. They lost to Mercer.
9. Butler (2-10)
Most Recently: The Bulldogs (and their fans) produced only the most token of efforts in a loss to Xavier, their thrid straight. The days of Final Fours and national prominence are but a distant memory for the Bulldogs this year, as they struggle to achieve a .500 record.
Prognosis: Their lone legitimate chance at playing spoiler will come February 23rd when they host Providence. Butler played the Friars tough on the road, losing by nine, so it could happen. Other than that, there is not a lot for Butler fans to look forward to this year. Are the Celtics good?
10. DePaul (2-10)
Most Recently: DePaul took a thrashing at the hands of Villanova last night, their 7th straight loss, dropping to the bottom of the Big East standings. Not a lot has gone right for the Blue Demons this season, with their only remotely impressive win coming over a reeling St. John's.
Prognosis: Trips to Providence and Xavier are not promising, but their slim-ish margin of defeat in their earlier trip to Marquette will give them some hope when they are at home to the Golden Eagles February 22nd. A win there could pull them clear of Butler and pave the way for a 9th place finish.