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Big East Basketball What To Watch: Week Five

A smattering of games during the week, but a monster slate waits for us on Saturday.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Buffalo vs Kentucky
Let’s be honest: This clearly looks like the Kentucky mascot is throwing double birds, right?
Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Another non-conference week of hoops, another super stacked up Saturday of games. This time around, it’s apparently Rivalry Week in the Big East.

Here’s the highlights.

Tuesday, December 4: Providence Friars at Boston College Eagles (6pm Central, ESPN2) - Hey, look, BC isn’t expected to light the world on fire this season in ACC action, but 1) they are in the ACC, which means NET boosts for Providence and 2) this game is on the road, which means NET boosts for Providence. That’s a pretty good quality contest for the Friars, who are in need of a quality win after losing to Wichita State and Michigan already this year. FUN FACT: Makai Ashton-Langford has apparently been completely buried on the PC bench. What’s up with that?

Saturday, December 8: Seton Hall Pirates vs #9 Kentucky Wildcats (11am Central, Fox) - KenPom lists this game as a “neutral site” game because it’s being played at Madison Square Garden. In theory, this should be an advantage for Seton Hall since it’s so much closer to campus for the Pirates, but it’s probably more beneficial to them in terms of postseason profile to get it as a neutral contest. Can they win? Mmmmm, that’s up in the air. Since opening the season against Duke, Kentucky has won seven straight, but they haven’t really been challenged at Rupp Arena. Well, more accurately, they haven’t been hosting challenging teams, but they haven’t really been knocking teams out, either. Seton Hall is in need of a quality win after losing at the Rock to Louisville on Saturday, so we’ll see which side breaks.

Saturday, December 8: Xavier Musketeers at Cincinnati Bearcats (1pm Central, ESPN2) - It’s my absolute favorite non-Marquette non-conference game of the year, and as always, I love the fact that The Reformation has provided me with the opportunity to openly cheer for Xavier instead of merely having to pretend that Cincinnati winning was the best thing for Marquette in the big picture.

Saturday, December 8: Georgetown Hoyas at Syracuse Orange (3:30pm Central, ESPN) - I’m sure that ESPN is thrilled to be able to broadcast this one because it’s like being able to re-air Requiem For The Big East, except it’s a live sporting event instead of a documentary that largely ignores giant swaths of the Big East’s history in order to blather on about these two teams. It’s been over 4 years since that thing aired and I’m still upset about it, and I’m not even as upset about it as Connecticut fans are.

Saturday, December 8: Marquette Golden Eagles vs #12 Wisconsin Badgers (4pm Central, Fox) - Personally, I think that this game should be cancelled. It’s completely inappropriate to allow zombies into Fiserv Forum. The Badgers were officially exterminated last season and put into the ground. But now they’re back and 7-1 on the year. ZOMBIES. Uncalled for.

Saturday, December 8: Creighton Bluejays at #24 Nebraska Cornhuskers (5pm Central, Big Ten Network) - HOLY CRAP, who let 40% of the Big East schedule their biggest non-con rivalry games all within four hours of each other on one day? The Bluejays are not favored in this one, at least not officially, but if they could give #1 Gonzaga fits for 30 minutes, they absolutely can go into Pinnacle Bank Arena and pull out a win.

Here’s the full slate for the week! Enjoy!

Big East What To Watch: Week 5

Date Game Time (CT) Television
Date Game Time (CT) Television
Mon., Dec. 3 Georgetown vs Liberty 5:30 PM FS2
DePaul vs Florida A&M 7:30 PM FS1
Tues., Dec. 4 Seton Hall vs New Hampshire 5:30 PM FS1
Providence at Boston College 6:00 PM ESPN2
Marquette vs UTEP 7:30 PM FS1
Wed., Dec. 5 Xavier vs Ohio 5:30 PM FS1
St. John's vs Mount St. Mary's 5:30 PM FS2
Butler vs Brown 6:00 PM Fox Sports Regional
#21 Villanova vs Temple 7:30 PM FS1
Fri., Dec. 7 Providence vs UMass 6:00 PM FS1
Sat., Dec. 8 DePaul at Northwestern 11:00 AM Big Ten Network
Seton Hall vs #9 Kentucky (at MSG) 11:00 AM Fox
Xavier at Cincinnati 1:00 PM ESPN2
#21 Villanova vs Saint Joseph's 1:00 PM FS1
Butler vs Northern Illinois 3:30 PM FS1
Georgetown at Syracuse 3:30 PM ESPN
Marquette vs #12 Wisconsin 4:00 PM Fox
Creighton at #24 Nebraska 5:00 PM Big Ten Network