How do the tiebreakers work? Well, if the Mountaineers win they would be 11-7 in the league and most likely tied with the Georgetown-Cincinnati winner for sixth place. WVU beat both teams this season and would win the tiebreaker for the sixth seed.
Syracuse and St. John's are both 11-6 and could also drop to 11-7, which would actually elevate the tie from sixth place to fifth or fourth. But that would take unlikely home losses by those two against DePaul and South Florida, respectively. And even then, WVU would still lose tiebreakers to those teams and finish sixth or even seventh.
As for the tiebreakers should West Virginia lose to Louisville and finish 10-8, well, that tie could be among as few as two teams (WVU and the Cincinnati-Georgetown loser) or up to as many as five teams. Connecticut, Villanova and Marquette are all 9-8 and would need wins to get into position. In addition to Villanova at Pitt and Marquette at Seton Hall, UConn plays host to Notre Dame.
The tiebreakers in each scenario differ depending upon the number of tied teams and who those teams are. But in essence, WVU wins enough of them to finish seventh or eighth based on head-to-head matchups in a two-team tie with the Georgetown-Cincinnati loser, or on mini-conference marks (the records against each other among multiple tied teams) or subsequent tiebreakers when adding Villanova, UConn or Marquette to the mix by themselves. The Mountaineers also stay in the top eight when UConn and Marquette or UConn and Villanova are added to the Cincinnati-Georgetown loser.
What West Virginia doesn't win is any tiebreaker that involves WVU, the Georgetown-Cincinnati loser, Villanova and Marquette (regardless of whether UConn is involved). In those instances, the Mountaineers finish ninth or 10th, sometimes going beyond the initial four- or five-team mini-conference and past a sub-mini-conference (of teams tied within the mini-conference) and all the way to a collective record against the two or three teams that would be tied for second place in the league in that scenario.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.