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Big East Big Five: Week 16

Final week of the regular season, kids!

Two Xavier games in the Five = Blue Blob picture!
Two Xavier games in the Five = Blue Blob picture!
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The women's basketball schedule wrapped up yesterday, and the conference tournament doesn't start until Saturday.  That first day is a doubleheader with teams 7-10, so there's not exactly a lot of excitement there, and Sunday is only the quarterfinal games.  Meanwhile, there's implications all over the men's side of the aisle in their final week of the regular season, so we're going to drop the women's game this week and take a look at four men's games.  Don't worry, we're still going to take cheap shots at the AAC.  That's always going to happen.

Big East Big Five

Tuesday, March 1, 2016: Georgetown at Marquette (8pm Central, FS1) - Ready for this?  Georgetown desperately needs to win this game to make it to the NIT.  The Hoyas are 14-15 on the season right now, and you can't get into the NIT with a losing record.  Marquette needs the win to get in, too.  The Golden Eagles are trending dangerously close to the bottom of the possible at-larges for the NIT, and a lot of those spots are going to get vacuumed up by regular season champs that don't make it to the NCAA tournament.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016: Seton Hall at Butler (7:30pm, FS1) - Shoutout to the Pirates for taking down #5 Xavier on Sunday.  That is one hell of a win for Kevin Willard, who honestly came damn close to losing his job after last season.  SHU is likely a lock to make the NCAA tournament at this point, but it never hurts to snag another road win to add a layer of polish to the resume.  Meanwhile, Butler's not doing so hot.  SB Nation bracket wizard Chris Dobbertean had them as the last at-large in the field back on Friday.  They nearly clanked their way out of the field on Saturday, but managed to hold off the Hoyas in overtime after blowing a 13 point lead with 2 minutes left.  They need wins, and a W over Seton Hall would be awfully nice.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016: Creighton at Providence (8pm Central, CBS Sports Network) - While Butler was the last team in the field, Providence was the first team to be shipped to Dayton according to Dobbertean's seed list before the weekend started.  They crushed DePaul to snap a two game losing streak even though Kris Dunn only played 17 minutes.  After being ranked in the top 10 during this season, they're suddenly barely hanging on to one of the spots in the NCAA tournament.... and this is a tournament that's taking two teams more than it should with the bans of both SMU and Louisville.  Creighton thumped St. John's on Sunday to bounce back from two straight losses.  Their at-large hopes might be dead, even after the win.  Even if they're outside the field, they've still got a chance to play spoiler here, especially after it took a snazzy Dunn jumper to beat the Jays in Omaha.

Saturday, March 5, 2016: Creighton at #5 Xavier (2:30pm Central, Fox) - Xavier is going to sit and stew about their loss to Seton Hall until this game rolls around for their regular season finale.  So they've got that working for them.  Chris Mack's not a fool, so you know he's going to be peppering his guys with video of their loss to the Bluejays from earlier this season.  They're still alive for a 1 seed in the NCAA field, but hoo, they can not lose a second straight game and expect that to hold up much longer.

The Worst American Athletic Conference Game Of The Week

Wednesday, March 2, 2016: East Carolina at USF (8pm Central, ESPNU) - 3-13 vs 4-12 in the conference makes for a wonderful choice for worst game this week.  It almost feels unfair to put the Bulls in here because they've now won more conference games than they won non-conference games, so they're clearly trending upwards.  They're still 9th out of 11 squads in the conference.... and why the hell does this league have 11 teams in it, anyway?