There's not any "top teams tangling" going on in the Big East between now and Super Bowl Sunday, but there's still some interesting questions to be asked. Can a middle of the pack team pull the season sweep of the current leaders? Can one of the non-conference heroes of the Big East snag a much needed win in the middle of a skid? Will moving a game to the middle of the day on Thursday affect DePaul's chances of winning? All that, plus the best women's game in the Big East this week, and of course, a healthy dose of laughing at the AAC.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015: Xavier at #21 Georgetown (6pm Central, Fox Sports 1) - After their win over Marquette on Saturday, the Hoyas find themselves at 6-2 and on top of the Big East standings, at least by a half game over Providence and Villanova. They split their first four games in conference play, but Georgetown is on a four game winning streak now. Meanwhile, the Musketeers are 4-4 in league action, and in need of a little bit of a boost going forward. They've lost three of their last five, and a road win over Georgetown would be a big deal for them at this point in the schedule. They already know how to beat the Hoyas after coming away with a 70-53 win on New Year's Eve.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015: Seton Hall at Marquette (6pm Central, Fox Sports 1) - After opening up the season 12-2 including a big win over Villanova in the second league game, the Pirates have stumbled to a 1-4 record in the last five with only a skin of their teeth win on the road against Creighton on the black side of the ledger. Head coach Kevin Willard said on Sunday that SHU doesn't expect to get super freshman Isaiah Whitehead back until after their two games this week, so it would a big step for the Pirates to stop the bleeding in Milwaukee without him. On the flip side, Marquette has been getting involved in a series of close calls, with a nine point home win over Providence coming as the team's widest margin in regulation in Big East games, regardless of the outcome. The Golden Eagles are faced with the chance to bolster their season with a win over a struggling Pirates squad, which means a great chance to get a win at home.
Thursday, January 29, 2015: DePaul at Providence (1pm Central, Fox Sports 1) - Thanks to Winter Storm Juno, this game is no longer being played on Tuesday at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. Instead, it looks like it will be played at Alumni Hall on Providence's campus due to a Fleetwood Mac concert at the Dunk. In any case, the Blue Demons are 5-3 and just a full game back of Georgetown, but in need of a win to keep themselves in the top half of the conference. Providence is just barely ahead of DePaul at 5-2 and looking to keep within striking distance of the Hoyas atop the league. Me? I'm just looking forward to daytime basketball.
The Big East Women's Basketball Game of the Week
Sunday, February 1, 2015: St. John's at Seton Hall (1pm Central, Paid Video Streaming) - There were two decent candidates this week, both involving the two teams that are 6-3 in the standings right now. This game beats out Villanova at DePaul by the sheer fact that Seton Hall is in first while DePaul trails the Pirates by half a game. Bonus: Seton Hall has just one loss in the front end of the conference season, which came against - you guessed it - the Red Storm.
Seton Hall has won six straight coming into this game, including an overtime win at Georgetown in their most recent game. St. John's, on the other hand, has lost four of their last seven, although one of those was a 70-54 contest against Connecticut.
The Worst American Athletic Conference Game of the Week
Saturday, January 31, 2015: UCF at SMU (7pm Central, ESPNU) - Yet once again, the AAC has mixed up the top and the bottom of the league so efficiently that there's really not a game between two bottom feeders in the league. So, we'll rely on last week's gimmick, and point out this game, where there is a 96% chance that the Mustangs take the win at Moody Coliseum. Avoid watching this one at all costs.