We return to the Big Five this week as Big East conference play begins. As such, we will make a slight adjustment to how we select the games going forward. Since we will see the number of games cut in half with teams playing each other instead of playing teams outside the conference, we will start considering Marquette games for inclusion here. We won't include Marquette's game against Vanderbilt this week to focus on the other three non-conference contests along with two early checks on what we have in two teams that have performed above expectations to start the season.
Let's go to the games!
Wednesday, December 28: Seton Hall at #1/#1Syracuse (6pm Central, ESPN3) - The Pirates continued their surprising early season run by picking up road wins at Dayton and at Longwood last week. Now they take that road experience to the Carrier Dome to try to make a statement about their Big East season against the undefeated Orange.
Wednesday, December 28: #12/#12 Georgetown at #4/#4 Louisville (6pm, ESPN2) - The Hoyas were picked to finish 10th in the preseason poll of the Big East coaches, but have started out the season on fire with 10 wins. Their only misstep was a 4 point loss to Kansas in Maui. Like Seton Hall, they start their Big East slate out on the road against an undefeated team in the Cardinals.
Thursday, December 29: Rutgers vs #10/#10 Florida (6pm, ESPN2) - I don't know who convince Billy Donovan to drag the Gators to Piscataway and the RAC, but here it is. The Scarlet Knights have reeled off three straight wins after dropping home games to LSU and Princeton, but Florida's going to be more difficult than Monmouth, Stony Brook, and NJIT.
Thursday, December 29: Cincinnati vs Oklahoma (8pm, ESPNU) - The Bearcats haven't faltered since The Crosstown Brawl, but they'll still be without Yancy Gates for the Sooners. Lon Kruger has Oklahoma at 9-1 against some solid competition in his first season, but this will be the first time they play a true road game.
Saturday, December 31: #4/#4 Louisville at #3/#3 Kentucky (11am, CBS) - Hey, I wasn't going to leave this one out! C'mon! It's Louisville and Kentucky! I don't need to explain this to you.