It’s Finals Week at Marquette, and based on the fact that there’s just three games before Saturday, I’m guessing that it’s Finals Week at a lot of other schools in the Big East this week as well.
Even with that limitation on the schedule, it was still very easy to pick out the top five games of the week. Granted, there’s kind of a drop off from the top five, but hey: can’t win ‘em all.
Last Week: 3-2 (thanks for nothing, Xavier and..... Marquette. Dammit.)
This Season: 12-8
Monday, December 12: Seton Hall vs #16 South Carolina (at MSG, 8pm Central, FS1) - This game is part of the Under Armour Reunion event at The Garden, and SURPRISE: all four teams in the doubleheader wear Under Armour gear. Shocker, I know. Because the first game involves Boston College, this is the clear main event of the evening. The Gamecocks are 8-0 with two KenPom top 50 wins already this season, and it would do the Pirates a world of good to knock South Carolina from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Tuesday, December 13: #1 Villanova vs Temple (6pm Central, FS1) - The Wildcats try to remain unbeaten when they host their Big Five (synergy!) rivals at The Pavilion on campus. Temple has some iffy losses this season, but they also have a win over West Virginia (!) and are coming off a neutral site win over DePaul this weekend.
Saturday, December 17: Georgetown at Syracuse (11am Central, ESPN) - Do I really need to explain this one to y’all?
Saturday, December 17: #18 Butler vs #9 Indiana (at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 4pm Central, Big Ten Network) - Here’s the big one of the week. In fact, the entire Crossroads Classic is huge this season, as Notre Dame and Purdue are both ranked as well. The Hoosiers and Bulldogs both have something in common this season: Awkward road losses to in-state rivals. IU’s loss to Fort Wayne and Butler’s loss to Indiana State are the only losses for each team right now, so someone’s coming away from Indianapolis with a second loss on the season. Unless it’s Butler, I guess, since they’re already in the city.
Saturday, December 17: #17 Xavier vs Wake Forest (7pm Central, FS1) - The Skip Prosser Classic returns to Cincinnati this year, as the two teams formerly coached by the now departed Prosser continue their yearly matchup. Wake might be headed on an upturn under Danny Manning, while the Musketeers will be looking for a shot at a quality win after suffering back to back road losses to Baylor and Colorado.