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Q: I know Pitt has the head-to-head tiebreaker over Syracuse and Villanova, but which teams owns the tiebreaker between Pitt and West Virginia since they split in the regular season should it come down to that for the regular season Big East championship?
Dan Johnson, Carlisle
FITTIPALDO: Pitt and West Virginia tying for the Big East championship is not a likely scenario after the Mountaineers lost Monday night at Connecticut. The only way for that to happen now is if Syracuse loses three of its final four games and Syracuse, Pitt, Villanova and West Virginia all finish with 13-5 records. That's highly unlikely, but if it did happen Pitt holds the tiebreaker over all three and would be the No. 1 seed for the Big East tournament. In the event of a multiple-team tie atop the standings a mini-conference among the tied teams is formed. Pitt is 3-1 against those teams and has the best winning percentage and therefore would be granted the No. 1 seed.
A more likely scenario is Pitt and West Virginia tying for third place. In that event, Pitt also holds the tiebreaker. Pitt and West Virginia split their two regular-season meetings, so the next tiebreaker is how the teams fared against the team at the top of the standings. Syracuse is in first place. Pitt beat Syracuse and West Virginia lost to Syracuse, so Pitt would have the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament. Even if Villanova beats out Syracuse for first place, Pitt would win the tiebreaker in that case as well. Pitt beat Villanova and West Virginia already lost to Villanova.
First Published February 23, 2010 6:45 PM