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Big East Big Five: Week 3

Thankgiving Week = big time basketball

Karl Towns says hello to Providence.
Karl Towns says hello to Providence.
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Here's the thing about Thanksgiving Week and the Big Five, though: I can only pick games that we know are going to happen.  Could we see bigger games than this by the end of the weekend?  Absolutely.  Marquette-Michigan State or Marquette-Kansas are both possible, if the Golden Eagles catch about 7,000 breaks between now and then.  But neither of those games, or say, Georgetown-Wisconsin in the Battle 4 Atlantis or St. John's-Gonzaga in the NIT Tip-Off, are guaranteed and set in stone at this point.

Even without all the potential games over the weekend, there's still a load of great games that didn't even make it to this list, much less the five games that ended up here.  Buckle up, we're going to have some fun.

Last Week: 4-1
Overall: 9-1

Big East Big Five JPEG

Monday, November 24: #12 Villanova vs #14 VCU (6pm Central, ESPN2) - Would this game be on this list if Shaka Smart was currently in Milwaukee?  Probably not.  But what we do get is a battle of two ranked and undefeated teams as a part of the Legends Classic in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.  Villanova is carrying the banner for the Big East into what should be one of the biggest games of the week across the country.

Wednesday, November 26: St. John's vs Minnesota (6pm Central, ESPNU) - Shout out to St. John's for managing to get themselves into a non-conference tournament against top quality opponents AT HOME.  This is part of the NIT Tip-Off, so of course, it's at Madison Square Garden.  The Gophers won the postseason NIT last season on this same court, and a win for either team will help boost their profile for the 2015 postseason.

Wednesday, November 26: Georgetown vs #18 Florida (7:30pm Central, AXS TV) - Florida did not have a good week last week.  They lost to Miami at the beginning of the ESPN Tip-Off Marathon and followed that up with getting taken to overtime by Louisiana-Monroe at home before pulling out a five point win.  They might be ripe for the Hoyas to pick up an early season marquee win in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.  Georgetown rolled through their first three games and Joshua Smith appears to be the real deal this season.

Sunday, November 30: Providence at #1 Kentucky (1pm Central, ESPN2) - Not that Ed Cooley needed to toss logs on his team's fire, but the Friars are ranked in the USA Today Coaches' Poll, but not the AP poll, which is what we're using to mark ranked teams here.  These two teams squared off last season, and PC was still in the game at halftime before the Wildcats pulled away.  LaDontae Henton exploded against Notre Dame on Sunday for a career high 38 points, including the game winning free throws with 14 seconds left.

Sunday, November 30: DePaul vs Stanford (1:30pm Central, Fox Sports 1) - I don't know how they pulled it off, but the Blue Demons have a good Stanford team coming into the Allstate Arena.  The Cardinal made the Sweet 16 a year ago in the first NCAA tournament appearance for head coach Johnny Dawkins.  DePaul struggled with UIC in their opener before cracking Drake in the face in their second game of the season.  It might be a massive upset (KenPom only gives DePaul a 28% chance to win), but it's a chance for the biggest win in several seasons for DePaul and they get to take a swing at a quality team at home.