Well, it’s Finals Week at Marquette this week, and it appears that it’s Finals Week across most of the Big East as well. There are just two games between now and Thursday, so it’s really slim pickings for basketball to put into your eyeballs while the Golden Eagles take the entire week off. There’s some interesting games on Saturday once everyone snaps free from the intensive studying during the week, but it’s not all seashells and balloons, either.
Your highlights for the week:
Tuesday, December 11th: #17 Villanova Wildcats at Penn Quakers (6pm Central, ESPN2) - This is the first game of the week for the Big East. There are no Monday games. Still though, this is kind of interesting, as the Wildcats have to go to The Palestra for this one. On top of that, Penn is 8-2 on the year with a win over Miami in that very same barn. Villanova hasn’t been super consistent all year long, although they do seem to have figured some things out since losing to Furman. But if they don’t bring their A-game? A top 120 KenPom Quakers team could definitely pull this off.
Saturday, December 15: #17 Villanova Wildcats at #1 Kansas Jayhawks (11am Central, ESPN) - And this is why the Penn game is extra important for Jay Wright’s squad. Going into Allen Fieldhouse to find a win is not a fun time for anyone, and Marquette fans have already seen up close and personal what Kansas is capable of doing to you. With that said, Udoka Azubuike is out indefinitely after spraining his ankle on December 4th. Can the Wildcats make a major statement?
Saturday, December 15: Seton Hall Pirates vs Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1pm Central, FS1) - For the love of all that’s holy, don’t follow up a win over Kentucky with a home loss to RUTGERS of all people.
Saturday, December 15: Butler Bulldogs vs #25 Indiana Hoosiers (2:45pm Central, CBS) - This one will be at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis as part of the yearly Crossroads Classic in the state of Indiana. It’s the second game of the doubleheader this year, for whatever that means to you in terms of Purdue and Notre Dame fans sticking around to cheer one way or another. Butler’s having a mostly acceptable non-conference run, although I’m sure no one amongst the Bulldog faithful is super excited about their Battle 4 Atlantis first round loss to Dayton nor their road loss to Saint Louis. They don’t really have anything else firing up the slate (yay beating Ole Miss at home?), so it would do them a world of good to beat their in-state rival, especially with the Hoosiers ranked for this one.
Here’s what passes for a full schedule this week.
Big East What To Watch: Week 6
|Tues., Dec. 11
|#17 Villanova at Penn
|Wed., Dec. 12
|DePaul vs Chicago State
|Fri., Dec. 14
|DePaul vs UIC
|Creighton vs Green Bay
|Sat., Dec. 15
|Georgetown vs SMU
|#17 Villanova at #1 Kansas
|Seton Hall vs Rutgers
|Butler vs #25 Indiana (Crossroads Classic)
|Xavier vs Eastern Kentucky
|Sun., Dec. 16
|Providence vs Central Connecticut
|St. John's vs Wagner