Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Villanova 77, Notre Dame 60

Remember when Notre Dame couldn't lose at home?

Seriously, good back-on-track win for Villanova, which can now smell that No. 4 seed in the Big East tournament. Remember, if Marquette loses to Pitt on Wednesday, Villanova will hold the tiebreaker over Marquette. Which means (if Marquette loses to Pitt on Wednesday), all Villanova has to do now to secure a top-four seed and a two-day bye at the Garden is beat Providence in their regular-season finale Thursday. And if if they don't do that, they can still get the four-seed if Marquette loses to Pitt on Wednesday and also loses to Syracuse this weekend.

All of which has to make Villanova's loss to Georgetown on Saturday even more brutal, because if they'd just won that game, all they'd have to do is beat Providence to lock in that top-four spot.

But c'est la vie. Smart money still says they get it.

And remember, even if Marquette beats Pitt, Villanova can still get into the top four ahead of Pitt, since they beat the Panthers head-to-head and Pitt could easily lose its regular-season finale against UConn. So things are kind of coming up Villanova here at the end -- assuming this win tonight means they're back on track and will take care of Providence on Thursday.

Tonight's Big East schedule is more or less flotsam, with a Georgetown-St. John's game that looks like a preview of the 12-13 game in next Tuesday's first round at the very same venue. Cincinnati could use a win at South Florida if it still harbors any hope of escaping the Tuesday games. And Syracuse hosts Rutgers, which is 1-15 in the conference and horrible.

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