When I first looked at the calendar for the Big East this week, the first thing I saw was that there was three games taking place between Monday and Friday. Finals week had reared its ugly head around the conference, thus limiting the opportunity for games as coaches don't want to interfere in their players' academic progress.
But then I actually looked at the eight games on Saturday and HOLY CRAP, do we have ourselves a week here in the Big East! Three games against top 10 teams! Two games between two ranked opponents! It's a big week around these parts!
Last Week: 4-1 (Thanks for nothing, Villanova.)
This Season: 18-7
Tuesday, December 15: Georgetown vs Monmouth (6:30pm Central, FS1) - When the Hoyas put this one on the schedule, I'm guessing they thought it would be a quality non-conference game. What they're getting instead, is a Hawks team that already has a road win over UCLA & a neutral site win over Notre Dame in their 6-3 record. As a result, Monmouth is currently a top 90 team on KenPom, and you know head coach King Rice is telling his guys about how GU lost to Radford. Personally, I want to see Georgetown get the W to stop the Monmouth fans from using the #mubb tag on Twitter so damn much.
Saturday, December 19: Seton Hall vs Wichita State (11am Central, FOX) - The Shockers have stumbled out of the top 25 to start the season as they've taken losses on top of injuries. They're healthy now, specifically Fred Van Vleet, and with so few chances at high quality wins left on their schedule, you know they'll be itching for a fight on Saturday. It also wouldn't hurt the Pirates to get the win here since WSU is still a top 50 KenPom team and SHU is 0-1 against those teams this season.
Saturday, December 19: #12 Villanova at #8 Virginia (11am Central, ESPN2) - The Wildcats bounced back nicely from their first loss of the season by taking care of business against local rival La Salle. Now they head to Charlottesville in a game that I regard as a mission from God. I'll abide a lot of losses by Big East teams, but I will not tolerate a loss to the Cavaliers. Blah blah blah top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, WHATEVER. I don't want to hear it. UVa is #347 in tempo. They must be destroyed.
Saturday, December 19: Creighton at #3 Oklahoma (1pm Central, ESPNU) - I mentioned Villanova's first loss of the season. It was to these Sooners out in the Pearl Harbor event. Here, the Jays head to Norman in a return bout from last year's 65-63 Creighton win in Omaha. Both teams are improved from last year, but Oklahoma is much, much better as you can see from that #3 ranking. Can the Jays bolster the league's profile by snagging the road win and get revenge for the Wildcats' loss? Sure would be nice, wouldn't it?
Saturday, December 19: #17 Butler vs #9 Purdue (4pm Central, Big Ten Network) - Here we (finally) arrive at the main event game of the week. It's the every-other-year matchup between the Bulldogs and the Boilermakers are part of the Crossroads Classic. This one's clearly the primary matchup of the doubleheader that has Notre Dame/Indiana on the other end. Purdue is off to an 11-0 start and sophomore big man Isaac Haas is amongst the top ten in the KenPom Player of the Year rankings, although it's still early in the season. A win by Butler here could point the Big East towards having two, maybe three top 10 teams by the time next week's AP poll comes out.