We enter the third week of league play in the Big East with two undefeated teams, two teams with one loss, one team with two losses, and five teams with three losses. As you can see, there’s a lot on the line for literally half the conference this week, as they find themselves in a five-way tie for last place at the moment, at least according to the loss column.
Let’s dive into the highlights of the week.
Wednesday, January 15: #18 Seton Hall Pirates at #5 Butler Bulldogs (5:30pm Central, FS1) - I mentioned the two undefeated teams in our intro paragraph for a reason, y’all. This is the two teams in question, with Seton Hall at 4-0 after beating Marquette on Saturday, and Butler at 3-0 following a 12 point win over Providence back on Friday night. Someone will leave Hinkle Fieldhouse as the unquestioned leader in the standings and will have the inside track to the top seed in the Big East tournament. I don’t know if you really need more stakes than that.
Wednesday, January 15: Xavier Musketeers at Marquette Golden Eagles (7pm Central, Fox Sports Regional affiliates) - And here we have fairly solid stakes as well, just not for the pole position in the league standings. Xavier and Marquette are both coming in off of consecutive losses, although at least Marquette lost a road game last time out. Xavier has suffered back-to-back home losses to Seton Hall and Creighton, and as a result, they’re staring a possibility of 1-4 in the league in the face. Marquette has the exact same 1-3 record as Xavier right now, but at least they have the benefit of playing this one at home. You could have talked yourself into the possibility of either of these teams being Big East title contenders when league play kicked off, and now they’re just looking to avoid a massive hole to dig out of in terms of a postseason profile.
Saturday, January 18: Connecticut Huskies at #14 Villanova Wildcats (11am Central, FS1) - Okay, look. I’m not going to try and convince you that this is a huge massive non-conference game that’s popping up in the middle of league play. It’s not. Connecticut’s struggling right now after a mostly decent non-conference slate, needing to withstand a 10-0 second half run from Tulane last Wednesday to get their first AAC win of the year. Still, it’s a non-conference game against a Major Seven opponent, and it’s a nice little preview of what we’re going to get next year when the Huskies make their long awaited return to the Big East. That’s fun. Go Wildcats.
Saturday, January 18: Marquette Golden Eagles at Georgetown Hoyas (1pm Central, FS1) - Yeah, so all of that stuff I wrote about Marquette/Xavier above? It applies to this one, as both the Hoyas and the Golden Eagles enter the week at 1-3. Both will play home games between now and then, with Georgetown hosting #25 Creighton on Wednesday. Both teams will be either A) looking to stack up a second straight win or B) looking to bounce back from a loss that they really couldn’t afford to take in the standings. There’s an air of desperation surrounding this one, especially for Marquette who really shouldn’t be losing games to a team with just seven scholarship players, not even on the road.
Big East MBB Schedule: Week 11
|Tues., January 14||DePaul at #14 Villanova||7:30 PM||FS1|
|Wed., January 15||#18 Seton Hall at #5 Butler||5:30 PM||FS1|
|#25 Creighton at Georgetown||6:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|Xavier at Marquette||7:00 PM||Fox Sports Regional|
|St. John's at Providence||7:30 PM||FS1|
|Sat., January 18||Connecticut at #14 Villanova||11:00 AM||FS1|
|#18 Seton Hall at St. John's||11:00 AM||Fox|
|#5 Butler at DePaul||Noon||Fox Sports Regional|
|Marquette at Georgetown||1:00 PM||FS1|
|Providence at #25 Creighton||3:30 PM||FS1|