Of course the one weekend of the year I'm not around the area is the Cuse vs. UConn extravaganza Rd. 2. While I was up freezing away and having a blast on Lake McRorie, the trusty Orange have again outdone themselves. With the dismantling of UConn, we are in a position to make a first round bye in the BET. Now I know as much as the next person that there is a good deal of if's and but's that need to occur in order for this to happen, but lets look at the possibilities:
Tied for 4th: #23 Notre Dame and #16 Marquette (9-5 in conference)
The irony being that come Saturday one of these teams will be knocked out as the two squads play each other. My personal feelings are that Marquette takes this one, though they have been slipping as of late, losing 3 of their last 4. If McNiel and James play a solid game, they can take this one. McNiel's defense is absolutely lock-down, and can handle Carter or Falls easily. At the same time, if Harangody has a game, I don't see any counter on the Golden Eagles to handle him.
Both teams have 2 remaining, with ND finishing at Rutgers and Marquette home vs. #8 Pitt. Therefore, ND will finish at 11-5, or 10-6 (assuming a W at Rutgers), and Marquette is looking at the same. For standings sake, we'll use my earlier prediction of Marquette winning and beating Pitt at home, putting MU at 11-5 and ND at 10-6.
3rd : Louisville (9-4)
I'm not gonna harp on the Cuse-LU debacle, due to the fact that I don't need an aneurysm, but the Cardinals are sitting quietly in 3rd with solid wins @ MU and @ Pitt. To top it off, they finish the season vs. St. Johns, @ UConn, and vs. Seton Hall. All three games should be winnable for the team, as that is the bottom of the Big East in a nutshell, without Rutgers and USF. The Cards have been hot as of late, and will win at least 2 out of their remaining. SJU or @UConn, which is always dangerous, being their one loss, with a final record of 11-4 in conference.
2nd : #12 Georgetown (10-2)
4 remaining games, @ Cincy, vs. Pitt, @ the Dome, and vs. UConn. I say the Hoyas split it. They've been hot as of late, and maybe I'm a Homer, but the Cuse has a chance if Mookie can neutralize Hibbert. So losses at Pitt and Cuse put them at 12-4.
1st : #8 Pittsburgh (11-2)
WIth 3 games left, 2 on the road, and all against ranked teams, @Gtown, vs. WVU, and @Marquette, I think the Panthers will still be able to take 2 and finish at 13-3, with the loss coming @ MU. In Gray they have a dominant big man, and play true team ball. Also if Fields gets hot from outside like he did against us, they could win out.
1. Pittsburgh (13-3)
2. Georgetown (12-4)
3. Louisville (11-4)
4. Marquette (11-5)
5. Notre Dame (10-6)
Where does that leave the Orange?
Games Remaining: @ Providence (7-6), vs. GTown, @ Nova (6-7)
Winning all three would put us at 11-5, tied for 4th with Marquette, who we own the tiebreaker over. This is best case scenario, as we have a tough road ahead. Providence isn't a bad team by any stretch, GTown is a damn good team, and playing at Nova is never an easy thing to do. All in all I'm not at liberty to make a prediction, as there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to how the team plays on a given night, but I'd like to think that being on the bubble, we are starting to get a little fire under us and hopefully making a run... In order for a bye, we need to win out, or have alot of bricks fall into place.