Big East Big Five: Week Ten

Believe it or not, it was hard to find a picture of Ethan Wragge shooting. - Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The first conference week is in the books.

Some teams (Villanova, Creighton) are where we thought they would be. Some teams have surprised in both positive (Xavier) and negative (Butler, Providence) ways. But it's still a long ways til March, and lots of time to earn wins on the conference schedule.

We'll stick with our plan from last week and give you the three best men's basketball games this week, plus the best women's game and the worst AAC game of the week, because that conference is hilarious. I almost feel bad for Connecticut. ALMOST.

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Thursday, January 9: DePaul at Butler (6pm Central, Fox Sports 1) - A loss in OT to Villanova and a disappointing road trip to Xavier has the Bulldogs tied for the league basement with DePaul amongst other teams. This is the first of Butler's two games this week, and they really can't afford to lose this one, as they follow it up by hosting Georgetown before heading to Omaha to play Creighton next week. DePaul's also looking for something to prove after they let Marquette off the hook on Saturday.

Saturday, January 11: Seton Hall at Marquette (1pm Central, Fox Sports Regional) - Look, I'll admit it: This one is on here for homer reasons. Marquette was picked to win the Big East, and while those picks were made before Duane Wilson was hurt, Jameel McKay left, and we knew the extent of Steve Taylor's injury, there's still enough talent on this team to make the NCAA tournament. Regardless of how Thursday night's game at Xavier goes, Marquette CAN NOT afford to lose to Seton Hall, or really at this point, even look bad while winning.

Sunday, January 12: Xavier at Creighton (2pm Central, CBS Sports Network) - I don't know how Fox Sports and CBS Sports went about deciding which games that CBSSN would get to televise, but I'm going to guess that Fox would like to have this one back. Both teams are 2-0 right now, and while they'll both play games before this Saturday showdown, both teams are favored to win those contests. They're both newcomers to the league, and I'm sure that both sides would like to leave a lasting impression on the other one in their first Big East game.

Big East Women's Basketball Game of the Week

Wednesday, January 8: Creighton at St. John's (6pm Central) - If the Bluejays stay undefeated in conference play much longer, this is just going to turn into "What's Creighton's most interesting game this week?" 60% of the Big East has one loss right now, so it's hard to get a handle on the middle of the pack there, but Creighton is 3-0 after going 6-6 in a tough non-conference schedule. Keep your eye on McKenzie Fujan, who poured in 38 points against DePaul, the team that was picked to win the Big East.

The Worst American Athletic Conference Game of the Week

Thursday, January 9: USF at Temple (6pm Central, ESPNU) - Again, the scheduling gods are on our side. They've managed to pair up two of the three teams that have opened up league play at 0-2. In a strange twist of fate, this game is a rematch of a round of 64 game in the 2012 NCAA tournament. The Bulls came away with the win in what is probably the high point of USF basketball history, and definitely the high point of the Stan Heath era.

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