Friday is the calm before the storm for the Big East. Only two teams are playing -- Rutgers at Seton Hal -- and neither has any realistic shot at the NCAA Tournament.
No, the real drama will occur on Saturday, when the entire conference wraps up its regular season. First place is still up in the air, as are the NCAA hopes of a few bubble teams. Let's break down the action on Saturday:
--Providence at Connecticut The Friars have a tiny glimmer of hope left, but it's more probable they're headed to the NIT without a huge run in New York. The conference is too loaded, and they don't have enough signature wins. UConn would likely be on the bubble if it wasn't serving a postseason ban for low APR scores.
--Georgetown at Syracuse The Hoyas are still in good shape for a bye, but the upset loss to Villanova may have torpedoed their chances at a No. 1 NCAA seed. Syracuse has been cold lately, but the Orange snapped a three-game losing streak last week and hope to get back on the wagon in time for the postseason grind.
--Marquette at St. John's The Tuesday loss to Notre Dame all but put the Red Storm out of the dance picture, so their only hope is to play spoiler here and during the tournament.
--Pittsburgh at DePaul This game should be a formality as long as the Panthers aren't caught napping. They can claim one of the double bye spots if Notre Dame falls.
--Notre Dame at Louisville This is the game that everyone will be watching. Louisville has been red-hot down the stretch, ripping off nine wins in 10 games. The Cardinals can clinch the regular-season title by making it 10 of 11. However, their only loss in that span happened to come against Notre Dame. The Irish hope to spoil the party again and lock up a double-bye spot.
--South Florida at Cincinnati The Bearcats are trending in the wrong direction. They had a chance to pick up some key victories in the last month, but instead were blown out of the arena by Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Louisville. On the other hand, they have eight top-100 wins and no bad losses on their resume. They look like a true "tossup" choice on Selection Sunday.
Here's the updated standings as of Friday morning: