At 9-5 and alone in fifth place in the Big East standings, Louisville will end its regular season with four games that all appear on paper to be toss-ups.
--Win all and the Cards earn one of the league's four double-byes for the Big East Tournament and head to New York playing solely to improve their NCAA Tournament seeding.
--Win three and they have an outside shot at a double-bye and are safely into the field of 65.
--A split would result in meeting Rick Pitino's goal of 11 conference and wins and probably also lock up an at-large bid.
--Win one and it's probably going to take a win or two (depending on the first round opponent) at Madison Square Garden for good vibes to resonate on Selection Sunday.
--Drop all four and U of L is probably staring down the daunting task of needing a run to the conference title game in order to go dancing.
In terms of degree of difficulty, there's very little separating these four games.
Connecticut has the worst record of the four, but the Huskies are playing as well as anyone in the league and Louisville has struggled in Storrs since it joined the Big East.
Georgetown has lost two straight and 3-of-5, but the Hoyas are probably one of the ten best teams in the country and are capable of beating anyone (see Villanova and Duke games). The losing streak probably doesn't bode well for Louisville.
Marquette has finally learned how to win the close one and has lost just once in the last month. Both teams will probably be facing similar situations, and the game is being played in Milwaukee.
Syracuse will be facing a hostile environment in the last game ever played at Freedom Hall, and the Orange have already lost this season to a Cardinal team they don't match up particularly well with. Still, this is the best team in the Big East.
So how do we rank these guys in order of most to least difficult.
Here's my thought:
2. At Connecticut
4. At Marquette
Regardless, it's quite the stretch.
What say you?