Smatterings of games during the week to keep us busy here in Week Four, but the first Saturday of the season without regular season college football games is a doozy of a lineup. You can tell that the Big East is taking full advantage of the television space that’s suddenly available.
Here’s the notable highlights this week:
Wednesday, November 28: #16 DePaul Blue Demons at #2 Connecticut Huskies (6pm Central, WatchESPN) - Yeah, that’s right, we’re starting with women’s basketball! I don’t have to explain myself any further than it’s a ranked DePaul squad going on the road to play the Huskies. That’s worth mentioning right there.
Wednesday, November 28: Creighton Bluejays vs Montana Grizzlies (7:30pm Central, FS1) - I know, I know, it doesn’t jump off the page as a highlight. However, Travis DeCuire’s Grizzlies are coming off of an NCAA tournament appearance last season, and they’re the preseason favorite to win the Big Sky both by vote of the coaches and by vote of the local media outlets. KenPom.com currently projects Montana to win their conference by three full games, so this should be something of a quality test for Greg McDermott and the Bluejays. They’re receiving votes in the AP Poll this week, and with a very big game at home on Saturday, they can’t afford to let this one sneak past them.
Saturday, December 1: Seton Hall Pirates vs Louisville Cardinals (11am Central, Fox) - Shoutout to the Pirates for bouncing back from losses to Nebraska and Saint Louis to win the Wooden Legacy event during Feast Week. They captured an 83-81 victory over Miami late Sunday night and are off the rest of the week until this game when the Cards come to The Rock. Louisville will either be riding absurdly high after stunning Michigan State on Tuesday at the YUM! Center or be sitting 0-3 against high major opponents in their non-conference schedule. UL gave Tennessee and Marquette fits for 30+ minutes at the NIT Tip-Off event, so SHU will need to be on their toes and ready.
Saturday, December 1: St. John’s Red Storm vs Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (11am Central, ESPNU) - This one comes to your eyeballs live from American Airlines Arena in Miami as part of the Naismith Hall of Fame Miami Invitational. I like that the Hall of Fame is sponsoring high profile neutral site games. That’s neat. The Red Storm are 5-0 after winning the Legends Classic in Brooklyn, and they still should be after playing Maryland Eastern Shore on Tuesday. At least in terms of KenPom rankings, this will be their toughest test of the season so far. The Yellow Jackets are 4-1, although the loss was in their only real competitive game so far, and they have to visit Northwestern on Wednesday night before making the trip south for this one.
Saturday, December 1: Creighton Bluejays vs #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs (1pm Central, Fox) - I don’t know what else to tell you about this one, other than it’s the #1 team in the country coming to Omaha. Gonzaga stayed unbeaten with a win over North Dakota State on Monday night, and I’m sure Mark Few will have the Zags ready to rip come Saturday afternoon. It’s a big opportunity for Creighton.
Saturday, December 1: Marquette Golden Eagles vs #12 Kansas State Wildcats (1:30pm Central, FS1) - As big of an opportunity as playing Gonzaga is for Creighton, you can argue that this game against K-State is just as big if not bigger for Marquette. The Golden Eagles got kicked around by Indiana, and that 24-0 run by Kansas was something that should never happen to a team with an eye on a top half NCAA tournament seed. Beating Louisville gave Marquette a quality win on their docket, but now they get a top 15 foe inside Fiserv Forum. Prime chance to show the country what they’re really made of this season, and they need this win much more than Creighton needs to beat #1 Gonzaga.
Saturday, December 1: Providence Friars at Rhode Island Rams (4pm Central, FS1) - Hey, remember when I said Saturday was stacked with games? I don’t know if this is going to be as noteworthy as the first four on the list (it probably won’t be, sorry/not sorry), but I like the PC/URI rivalry, and this one is over in Rhody’s gym. It’s David Cox’s first time running the show for the Rams in the in-state rivalry game, so that adds a nice flavor to the proceedings.
Saturday, December 1: Butler Bulldogs at Saint Louis Billikens (4pm Central, Fox Sports Regional affiliates) - With the regional pick up on this game, this one might be a little harder to catch a viewing of, but it’s still a pretty interesting contest for Butler. Beyond the obvious “on the road” aspect, Saint Louis is expected to be a contender in the Atlantic 10 this season. SLU already has a road win over Seton Hall in their pocket, so picking off a Big East squad at home should be a relative walk in the park for Travis Ford’s team if Butler isn’t careful. LaVall Jordan and his guys are coming off a win over Florida on the consolation side of the Battle 4 Atlantis, so they’ll be looking to build off of that.
Here’s the full schedule for the week!
Big East What To Watch Week 4
|Tues., Nov. 27||St. John's vs Maryland-Eastern Shore||5:30 PM||FS1|
|Marquette vs Charleston Southern||7:00 PM||FS Regional|
|Providence vs Fairleigh Dickinson||7:30 PM||FS1|
|Wed., Nov. 28||Xavier vs Miami (OH)||5:30 PM||FS1|
|Georgetown vs Richmond||6:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|DePaul vs Cleveland State||7:00 PM||FS2|
|Creighton vs Montana||7:30 PM||FS1|
|Sat., Dec. 1||Xavier vs Oakland||11:00 AM||FS1|
|Seton Hall vs Louisville||11:00 AM||Fox|
|St. John's vs Georgia Tech (at American Airlines Arena, Miami)||11:00 AM||ESPNU|
|Creighton vs Gonzaga||1:00 PM||Fox|
|Marquette vs Kansas State||1:30 PM||FS1|
|Villanova at La Salle||2:00 PM||ESPN2|
|Providence vs Rhode Island||4:00 PM||FS1|
|Butler at Saint Louis||4:00 PM||FS Regional|