For those of you who are not Marquette students at the moment, then you should know that this is Finals Week on campus. From a glance at the Big East hoops schedule for the week, it appears that it is Finals Week at most of if not all of the schools in the conference. There are just ten total games this week: Two on Tuesday, one on Friday, and seven on Saturday. That’s it.
If this is a shorter than normal What To Watch, then you can blame the continuing and ongoing education of the athletes involved.
Tuesday, December 10: #18 Butler Bulldogs at #11 Baylor Bears (8pm Central, ESPN2) - This is by far the headline game of the week, as Baylor is the only ranked opponent on the schedule this week. On top of that, they get to host one of the four ranked teams from the Big East, so that’s just a cherry on the sundae that is delightful and engaging basketball. The Bulldogs are 9-0 with neutral wins over Missouri and Stanford and a road win over Ole Miss. This will be their biggest test of the season so far, as the Bears have only a neutral loss to Washington marring their record, and just beat Arizona at the Ferrell Center this past weekend. Baylor also owns a win over Villanova at the Myrtle Beach multi-team event, so this is a nice measuring stick for Kamar Baldwin and friends.
Saturday, December 14: Georgetown Hoyas vs Syracuse Orange (Noon Central, Fox) - Fresh off a dismissal and a transfer and amidst an ongoing investigation into other legal matters, Georgetown went out and won two road games this past week. Whatever else you want to say about how Patrick Ewing’s running his team — and most of what you could say holds at least some measure of truth at this point — you can’t argue that he didn’t get two quality results on the court. On Saturday, they host their hated rivals in the Orange. Syracuse is just 5-4 this season and they are just 1-4 against Major Seven opponents this season. In fact, they already lost on a neutral floor to the Oklahoma State team that Georgetown just beat.
Saturday, December 14: #20 Villanova Wildcats vs Delaware Blue Hens (1pm Central, ESPN2) - You might be wondering why I’m including this game here, as KenPom.com has the Wildcats favored by 13 points. Well, it’s really only because I think it’s funny that Villanova is playing in Seton Hall’s building while Seton Hall ......
Saturday, December 14: #22 Seton Hall Pirates at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3pm Central, Big Ten Network) - ...... is busy getting RAC Attacked over in Piscataway. Blah blah blah, Seton Hall is favored on KenPom, blah blah blah. 1) RAC Attacks are real and you should fear them, 2) They’re only favored by four, 3A) Unless SHU head coach Kevin Willard is lying like he did about Myles Powell’s injury, then Sandro Mamukelashvili is out until about February with a broken wrist, and 3B) the Pirates just lost at Iowa State in the game where Sandro picked up that injury.
Saturday, December 14: #23 Xavier Musketeers at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3pm Central, ACC Network) - It continues to delight me to no end that Xavier has two every year non-conference games on their schedule, and the reasoning for each of them could not be further apart. Last weekend it was the Crosstown Shootout with Cincinnati, and that’s just some clean, old-fashioned intra-city hate between a private school and a public school. Here, it’s their matchup with Wake Forest, which happens as a tribute game to former Xavier head coach Skip Prosser, who was the coach at Wake when he tragically died suddenly in 2007. Like I said, very divergent reasons.
Here’s the full schedule for the week, such as it is, with all times Central as always.
Big East MBB Schedule: Week 6
|Tues., December 10
|Butler at Baylor
|St. John's vs Brown
|Fri., December 13
|Creighton vs Texas-Rio Grande Valley
|Sat., December 14
|Butler vs Southern
|Georgetown vs Syracuse
|DePaul vs UIC
|Villanova vs Delaware (at Prudential Center)
|Xavier at Wake Forest
|Seton Hall at Rutgers
|Big Ten Network
|Providence vs Stony Brook