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Big East Big Five: Week 9

Well. We certainly had an interesting first week of league play.

Billy Garrett (#5) and DePaul are a surprising 2-0 to open Big East play.
Billy Garrett (#5) and DePaul are a surprising 2-0 to open Big East play.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Shout out to the teams currently tied for first place in the Big East, and the only two undefeated teams in the league as well: Seton Hall and DePaul.  Just like Commissioner Ackerman drew it up, obviously.

This is a fun start which will lead to a nice mix of games this week as we try to figure what exactly is going on with the Big East in Week 2.

Big East Big Five JPEG

Tuesday, January 6: #8 Villanova at #24 St. John's (8pm Central, Fox Sports 1) - Given how the season had started for the Pirates, I suppose it wasn't a complete surprise that Seton Hall beat Villanova on Saturday, but I'm sure that the Wildcats aren't exactly happy about it.  Not only did it end their undefeated streak to start the season, but it also ended Villanova's chance at their best start ever.  Now they swing into Madison Square Garden, where the Red Storm are scuffling badly after a great start to their season.  They've got players missing games for all sorts of reasons, absolutely no bench, and now back to back losses for the first time this season.  Do they stumble for a third straight time, or does St. John's hand Villanova two straight losses of their own?

Wednesday, January 7: DePaul at Creighton (8pm Central, Fox Sports 1) - The Blue Demons are in first place thanks to snapping a six game losing streak with two home games to open league play.  Now they head out on the road for the first time.  No, they're not favored by KenPom, and it's not even close.  But they weren't favored to beat Marquette or Xavier, either, and the pre-game Xavier prediction landed at an 82.8% chance that Xavier would win.  Can DePaul hang on to first place or will Creighton restore order to the universe?  The Bluejays have started 0-2 in the Big East with two road losses, so this could be a frantic crowd at the CenturyLink Center.

Wednesday, January 7: #19 Seton Hall at Xavier (6pm Central, CBS Sports Network) - Yes, this is basically the exact same setup as the DePaul game.  SHU has won two straight games at home to land on top of the league table.  Now they get their first road game in league play against a 1-1 Xavier team that's probably pretty annoyed about losing to DePaul on Saturday.  Will the Pirates be able to snap the "home team wins" trend of the league and stay in first, or does Xavier win at home and even the league standings out a little bit?

Big East Women's Basketball Game Of The Week

Friday, January 9: Xavier at Seton Hall (6pm Central) - The Musketeers find themselves in a surprising second place after opening up 3-1 to start the league slate.  The Pirates are just half a game back of Xavier after losing to St. John's over the weekend for their first loss in league play and their first loss in their last 13 games.  Seton Hall will be looking to try to stay within striking distance of the 3-0 Red Storm as well as work their way back into the AP Top 25 while Xavier looks to prove that they deserve a spot in the conversation amongst the league's elite teams.

The Worst American Athletic Conference Game of the Week

Tuesday, January 6: UCF at Houston (6pm Central, ESPNews) - Here, we have two of the three 0-2 AAC teams, partnering up for a game scheduled to appear on ESPNews, because ESPN doesn't have anywhere nicer to put it.  East Carolina has a couple of solid games this week, so we'll leave them alone, even if they are under .500 overall just like South Florida.  One of these teams will start the week by clearing out a new basement in the league at 0-3, while the other will run face first into either SMU or Memphis on Sunday as a "reward" for winning.  Aside: Tulane is in first place in the AAC at 2-0.