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Big East Big Five: Week 15

Two games between the top six teams in the league, plus an old favorite of the Big Five drops into the middle of February.

Ah, our old "friend," the Cincinnati Bearcat.
Ah, our old "friend," the Cincinnati Bearcat.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Big East Big Five JPEG

Tuesday, February 16, 2015: St. John's at Georgetown (6pm Central, Fox Sports 1) - In the most recent Bracketology update, SB Nation bracket expert Chris Dobbertean has Georgetown as a pretty comfortable 7 seed, but the Red Storm are tracking towards a trip to Dayton.  Both sides would love to improve their positioning, of course.  Georgetown has lost three of their last five, while St. John's is riding a three game winning streak, and have won four of their last five.  Through an odd fluke of scheduling, this is the first meeting of the season between the two squads, and they'll reconvene 11 days later in New York.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015: Xavier at Cincinnati (6pm Central, ESPN) - Well, well, well.  It's the Crosstown Shootout, or whatever the hell that these two teams have agreed to call their yearly matchup after the dustup that they had a few years back.  This game is an automatic add to the Big Five, regardless of when it happens on the schedule. 1) It almost always means an improvement to the Big East's overall RPI and 2) now that we've traded Xavier for Cincinnati in our conference affiliation, it means I can blatantly cheer for the Musketeers to pound the Bearcats instead of having to pretend I wanted Cincy to win because it was best for the league.  A win here would be Xavier's fourth over a KenPom top 50 team this season.

Thursday, February 19, 2015: #19 Butler at Xavier (1pm, Fox Sports Net affiliates) - There are two road games this week for the second place Bulldogs, but this one holds more sway in the thick of things.  Presumably, Butler will be able to leave Omaha with a win tonight, setting up a game in Cincinnati that could help push them back towards a top 4 seed in the NCAA tournament.  Saturday's loss to Villanova snapped a five game Butler winning streak, and this could be a chance to get back on a winning streak.  Xavier, meanwhile, will be coming off a huge rivalry game on Wednesday, and could either be riding high on a win or sitting on a two game losing streak and needing something to keep them in the NCAA tournament discussion.

The Big East Women's Basketball Game Of The Week

Sunday, February 22, 2015: Villanova at Seton Hall (2pm Central, GameTracker) - After Sunday's loss to Marquette, Seton Hall is in second place and only a game in front of the Wildcats.  It would be quite the boon to Villanova's schedule to go into South Orange and come away with a victory that could propel them into the #2 seed for the Big East tournament with just one weekend left in the season.  Meanwhile, Seton Hall will be looking to make up ground that they lost at the McGuire Center and will need any win they can get.  Last week, the Pirates were a 9 seed in ESPN's Bracketology and trending downwards.  The loss to Marquette is going to send them even closer to the bubble.

The Worst American Athletic Conference Game Of The Week

Tuesday, February 17, 2015: Houston at USF (6pm Central, ESPNews) - Sometimes the basketball gods give you gifts.  This week is one of those times.  This week, the AAC has last place USF (1-12) hosting second to last place Houston (1-13).  Either way, these two teams emerge from this hellhole at a combined record of 3-24 in league play.  For you gambling degenerates out there, KenPom has the Bulls as a 59% favorite, although Houston has a 71% chance of winning the return bout on March 1.