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Big East What To Watch: Week Five

There’s some really nice games on the ol’ TV this week, plus some interesting women’s hoops as well.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday, December 5: #4 Villanova Wildcats vs #12 Gonzaga Bulldogs (6pm Central, ESPN) - This one is coming to us live from Madison Square Garden as part of the Jimmy V Classic. It’ll be the front end of a doubleheader with Connecticut vs Syracuse coming afterwards. While Huskies/Orange will drive ticket sales in NYC, this game is clearly the more high profile contest. Nova will try to remain undefeated on the season, while Gonzaga has only a double overtime loss in the PK80 event marring their record.

Tuesday, December 5: Vermont Catamounts at Marquette Golden Eagles (6pm Central, FS1) - This was always going to be a high quality game for the Golden Eagles, and now it’s more important than MU would rather be the case. After clanking Saturday’s contest with Georgia, Marquette needs to get back on the winning track, but the Catamounts will not be a willing participant in that exercise. Vermont has lost just two regular season games since last Christmas, and only three overall. One loss was to Purdue in last year’s NCAA tournament, and then they opened up this year with a loss to Kentucky. UVM is likely going to be fired up after dropping a roadie to a high quality Bucknell team on Saturday as well.

Thursday, December 7: Marquette Golden Eagles at #24 Michigan Wolverines (6pm Central, BTN Plus) - Carolyn Kieger’s squad is in need of good wins on their docket. It’s actually two Big Ten foes in the span of four days for the Golden Eagles, as they get Wisconsin at home on Monday night. This meeting with Michigan should have been higher profile, but the Golden Eagles lost their top 25 ranking in Monday’s brand new poll. Michigan is 5-2 on the year with the losses coming against top five teams, and they’ll be more than happy to add a big win to their profile.

Friday, December 8: #1 Connecticut Huskies at DePaul Blue Demons (6pm Central, FS1) - BIG DOGS COMIN’ TO WINTRUST! This is, of course, the UConn women’s team, continuing with their ongoing tradition of scheduling high profile women’s programs and smashing them into tiny bits. This year’s DePaul team is 5-2 with losses to Northern Colorado and Florida Gulf Coast, so there’s a chance that this could go worse than last year’s 91-46 Huskies victory. Still, though, playing #1 at home is always a fun time.

Saturday, December 9: Marquette Golden Eagles at Wisconsin Badgers (11am Central, FS1) - No explanation necessary. Cheer for the team in blue against the team in red and white.

Saturday, December 9: Nebraska Cornhuskers at Creighton Bluejays (1:30pm Central, FS1) - Also no explanation necessary. Cheer for the team in blue against the team in red and white.

Saturday, December 9: Virginia Commonwealth Rams at #19 Seton Hall Pirates (2pm Central, Fox) - The Pirates are back in the top 25 after a week away from the tippy top rankings. Their reward, after taking most of the week off, is a home date against the Rams. VCU is still expected to make some noise in the Atlantic 10 this season, and while they haven’t come up with any big wins, they’ve been competitive with the other Major Eight teams they’ve played. They also collapsed Cal pretty easily, but that’s not exactly an accomplishment this season. Seton Hall will have to be on their toes to maintain their undefeated home record this season.

Saturday, December 9: Colorado Buffaloes at #13 Xavier Musketeers (4pm Central, FS1) - This is the return bout from XU’s trip out to the mountains last year that ended in a Buffaloes victory. Xavier just had one of the best weeks in program history last week, as they knocked off two ranked teams, including an absolute shelling of Cincinnati that led to Bearcats head coach Mick Cronin trying to fight J.P. Macura. The Musketeers have a game against Kent State earlier in the week to shake off the emotions of the previous game, while Colorado has a home game against New Mexico as they recalibrate after losing their first game of the season on the road against Colorado State.

Without further ado, here’s the full slate for the week.

Big East Basketball Week 5

Date Game Time (CT) TV Network
Date Game Time (CT) TV Network
Tues., Dec. 5 #4 Villanova vs #12 Gonzaga (MSG) 6:00 PM ESPN
Vermont at Marquette 6:00 PM FS1
North Dakota at Creighton 7:00 PM FS2
Utah at Butler 8:00 PM FS1
St. John's vs Grand Canyon (Talking Stick Resort, AZ) 10:30 PM ESPNU
Wed., Dec. 6 Kent State at #13 Xavier 6:00 PM FS1
Brown at Providence 6:00 PM FS2
Central Connecticut at DePaul 8:00 PM FS1
Thurs., Dec. 7 Howard at Georgetown 7:30 PM FS1
Fri., Dec. 8 St. John's vs Arizona State (Staples Center) 7:00 PM Pac 12 Networks
Sat., Dec. 9 Marquette at Wisconsin 11:00 AM FS1
Youngstown State at Butler 11:00 AM Fox Sports Regional
Nebraska at Creighton 1:30 PM FS1
North Carolina A&T at Georgetown 1:30 PM FS2
Providence at UMass 2:00 PM NESN
VCU at #19 Seton Hall 2:00 PM Fox
DePaul at UIC 3:00 PM NBC Sports Chicago
Colorado at #13 Xavier 4:00 PM FS1
Sun., Dec. 10 La Salle at #4 Villanova 12:00 PM FS1