Lesson learned for the Big Five: Feature the undefeated teams not named Marquette, get wins in those games. The Big East was 3-2 in Big Five games last week, with the losses being somewhat expected: Notre Dame on a neutral court to Indiana and Villanova losing at St. Joseph's. That brings the Big East to a record of 12-13 in games featured in this space this season.
This week is a little thin on games of importance. It would appear that teams are avoiding playing anyone with the Big East schedule getting started next week Tuesday and with no one scheduling any games at all after Friday due to Christmas. I'd wager to say that tonight's matchup of Marquette and LSU is better and more important than any of these games. But we proceed onwards to give you the highlights of the week.
Wednesday, December 21: Seton Hall at Dayton (6pm Central) - Kevin "Fred" Willard's Pirates have been solid all season with their only loss coming in the Charleston Classic title game against Northwestern. This will be their first true road game of the season and the Flyers present an interesting and predictably unpredictable opponent (wins over Minnesota and Alabama, losses against Miami (OH) and Buffalo).
Thursday, December 22: #16/#16 Georgetown vs Memphis (6pm, ESPN2) - Marquette has Norfolk State, Georgetown has Memphis. Seriously, who scheduled Memphis to come to the Verizon Center the same year that both teams were in Maui? In any case, their first go-round was AWESOME, so hopefully Josh Pastner has the Tigers attention following consecutive losses to Murray State and Louisville.
Thursday, December 22: West Virginia vs Missouri State (7pm, ESPN3, Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic) - Yeah, we're scraping down to neutral site games against the fourth best team in the Missouri Valley Conference here. Still, they're a top 65 KenPom team right now so it's a chance for a solid win for the 'Eers.
Thursday, December 22: South Florida at Southern Mississippi (7pm) - Hey! South Florida made the list! [double checks] Hey! South Florida makes their second appearance! The Bulls road trip to Hattiesburg in an attempt to put a beating on a team that's doing damage to Marquette's RPI numbers. You can tell it's a road game for USF, because there's no TV and obviously TV wouldn't miss a chance to broadcast the Sun Dolls.
Friday, December 23: West Virginia vs #6/#7 Baylor (8pm, ESPN, Continential Tire Las Vegas Classic) - Hey, look who's back! It's Huggy Bear and his boys! WVU can not afford to leave Vegas with two losses and leaving with two wins, particularly with one of them coming against their future conference mates, would be ideal.