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If the season ended today...

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Today is a special day. Not because it's Valentine's Day, not because it's the mid-point in the month of February, and not because it's the 17th anniversary of Tonya Harding winning the U.S. Figure Skating Championship (thank you sports fact a day calendar). No, today is special because it marks the first time in the 2007-2008 college basketball season that I'm going to play a little game I like to call "If the Season Ended Today."

You see, instead of being sociable or listening to whatever that crazy woman at the front of the room was talking about, I spent my youthful winter hours at school drawing up mock Conference USA or Metro Tournament Brackets. I found knowing how the tournament would look if the season miraculously ended that day to be quite soothing and enjoyable. Sure, now I have no friends and lack the ability to read, but this is a game that demands sacrifice.

I would do this almost daily until the actual tournament was played, at which point I would revert to drawing haphazard squiggly lines on a piece of paper and trying to play it off like I was creative (a point of contention that was surprisingly not aided by my NPR lunchbox or Frasier backpack).

Well the game is back and sure to resurface several times over the next month, so I suggest you embrace it...or scroll down and read the next post.

Here is how the Big East Tournament would be set up IF...the season ended today:

Wed., Mar. 12 Thurs., Mar 13 Fri., Mar 14 Sat.,Mar 15
Noon
8) Syracuse
9) West Virginia
Noon
1) Georgetown
Semifinals, 7pm Finals, 8pm
2 pm
5) Pittsburgh
12) Villanova
2 pm
4) Notre Dame
7 pm
7) Cincinnati
10) Seton Hall
7 pm
2) Louisville
Semifinals, 9pm
9 pm
6) Marquette
11) Depaul
9 pm
3) Connecticut
Out: Providence, South Florida, Rutgers, St. John's

Notes:

--Connecticut and Notre Dame currently own identical league records, and split the two games they played against one another. The Big East tiebreaker rules dictate that we now look at who has the better record against the best teams in the conference, starting at the top.

If one of the teams has yet to play the opponent in question, then you continue to move down the standings (in other words, a record of 1-0 does not beat a record of 0-0).

Both teams are 0-1 against Georgetown, and Notre Dame hasn't played Louisville or Pittsburgh. Connecticut earns the third seed by way of its 1-0 record against Marquette, a team the Fighting Irish are 1-1 against.

--Louisville is currently the two seed, but only because they've played one more game - and have one more win - than Notre Dame and Connecticut. The Huskies have already beaten the Cardinals, and Notre Dame plays at U of L on Feb. 28.

--Pittsburgh owns a half game lead over Marquette, but the two play in Milwaukee on Friday.

--Marquette earns the sixth seed by way of owning the head-to-head tiebreaker over Cincinnati.

--Syracuse (6-6) and West Virginia (5-5) are in a virtual tie for the 8th seed, but the SU's six wins give it the momentary advantage.

--Seton Hall and Depaul are both 5-7 and have yet to play each other. The Pirates earn the tenth seed because of their 1-0 record against Louisville, a team Depaul lost to on Tuesday.

--Twelfth seed Villanova is a half game behind Seton Hall and Depaul, and half game ahead of St. John's and Providence. The Wildcats play the Red Storm on Saturday.