The Scarlet Knights are assured of a top-four finish in the Mid-Atlantic Division thanks to West Virginia’s 3-0 victory against visiting Notre Dame. The Mountaineers (4-0-1; 13 points) secured the top seed in the division and Villanova (3-1-1; 10 points) has locked up the second spot with each team still having one match to play. Rutgers (10 points) and Georgetown (3-2; nine points) will round out the top four. Notre Dame (3-3; nine points), Seton Hall (1-3-1; four points) and Pittsburgh (0-6) will not qualify for the tournament.
If Georgetown loses at West Virginia Oct. 9, the Scarlet Knights will be the third seed due to the Hoyas finishing the season with nine points. If Georgetown ties WVU, RU still will be the third seed thanks to the Knights’ 4-2 victory against the Hoyas Oct. 5. If Georgetown defeats the Mountaineers, the Hoyas will be the third seed and Rutgers will be fourth.
West Virginia owns the tiebreaker with Villanova due to its 1-0 win Sept. 22, so the Mountaineers have wrapped up the top seed despite the outcome of the final two matches. If Villanova loses its final match at Seton Hall Oct. 23 and has 10 points, it will still own the tiebreaker with Rutgers due to the two teams’ results against the other teams in the division. If Georgetown loses its final match and both teams have nine points, the Hoyas will own the tiebreaker with Notre Dame due to their 4-3 victory against the Fighting Irish Sept. 29.
This will mark the third consecutive year that the Scarlet Knights will compete in the BIG EAST Tournament. RU lost in the quarterfinals – 4-3 at Boston College last season and 3-1 to Syracuse in 2000. RU also lost in the semifinals of the 1995 and 1996 tournaments, both of which were four-team events.
Following the quarterfinals at campus sites, the semifinals and final will be conducted Nov. 8 and 10 in Storrs, CT.
Qualification for the BIG EAST Tournament has served as a good indication of NCAA Tournament bids in recent years. Last season, seven of the eight teams in the BIG EAST Tournament competed in the NCAA Tournament. The one exception was St. John’s, a team which did not have a record of .500 (6-11) and was not eligible. However, Syracuse (12-7), a team which missed out on the conference tournament due to tiebreakers, did receive an NCAA bid.
Rutgers will take on in-state rival No. 18 Princeton Tuesday, Oct. 8, in a rematch of last year’s NCAA Tournament second-round match. The contest will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Princeton’s Love-Lourie Field.