There are nine games of Big East men’s basketball this week. Six of them have at least one ranked team squaring off, and two of them have ranked teams on either side! That’s a whole big deal, and that’s pretty cool.
Wednesday, February 5: #10 Villanova Wildcats at #19 Butler Bulldogs (5:30pm Central, FS1) - Can’t beat two ranked teams playing each other in terms of important games, and the fact that the higher ranked team is the one on the road makes it a little bit bigger. In terms of league standings, this is a much more important game for Butler. Kamar Baldwin And Friends are 5-4 in the conference table right now, which is a tie for fifth place. After a 3-0 start, they’ve gone 2-4, and that was “needed overtime to beat Marquette” and “needed a 23-4 run to rally against Georgetown” for those two wins. They need a stabilizing win in a big way here, and beating the Wildcats won’t be a picnic.
Wednesday, February 5: #21 Creighton Bluejays at Providence Friars (6pm Central, Fox Sports Regional providers) - The Bluejays have won five of their last six games and are looking like a force to be reckoned with in the Big East right now. They squeaked past Providence in Omaha back on January 18, so they have to take this one very seriously. The Friars, on the other hand, are coming off a huge road win over Butler on Saturday that snapped a three game losing streak. They had started Big East play 4-1, but then they lost their next three. Alpha Diallo and company are currently tied with Butler for fifth place in the conference, and every loss they take in league play just sends them further and further away from any kind of postseason action.
Friday, February 7/Sunday, February 9: Marquette Golden Eagles at Seton Hall Pirates/St Johns Red Storm (FS2/Big East Digital Network) - Yep, it’s women’s basketball, and it’s a pair of Marquette games. These two aren’t that important relative to the Big East standings, although Megan Duffy has her Golden Eagles in second place and a game ahead of both the Pirates and the Red Storm, who are tied for fourth right now. However, these are big games in terms of postseason positioning for everyone involved. ESPN’s Charlie Creme has four Big East teams in the field: DePaul, Marquette, Creighton, and St. John’s. Marquette is a #9 seed, while the Johnnies are a #11 and only three spots clear of the cutline. You can see why Sunday’s game is a big deal for both teams there. Friday night’s game against the Pirates isn’t quite as clear, although Marquette would clearly benefit from the road W. Shadeen Samuels et. al. are only #75 in the RPI right now, and in desperate need of anything resembling a quality win, which Marquette definitely would be for them. They have the same record as St. John’s right now both in Big East play and otherwise (14-8, 7-4), and while all wins are not created equal, SHU clearly can’t be that far outside the conversation for an NCAA tournament berth.
Saturday, February 8: #12 Seton Hall Pirates at #10 Villanova Wildcats (1:30pm Central, Fox) - For the record, this one is at Wells Fargo Center in downtown Philadelphia, so take that into account. The Wildcats are either going to be coming off a big win at Butler or off a mostly acceptable loss but in need of a home win. Either way, that’s not an ideal situation for Seton Hall to find themselves. Myles Powell and the boys got absolutely shelled at home by Xavier back on Saturday, and they have to get through a road trip to Georgetown earlier in the week. Quincy McKnight’s status after a knee injury is up in the air for this week, so that adds a level of intrigue to what SHU is capable of without the guy who might be their most important offensive player.
Sunday, February 9: #19 Butler Bulldogs at Marquette Golden Eagles (11am Central, FS1) - Markus Howard’s team is currently sitting as the unofficial #27 team in the country in the latest AP poll. If they win this game, which is their only game of the week, they’ll be ranked in the next top 25 poll. They ended up in overtime against the Bulldogs down in Indianapolis, so that would seem to indicate that they’re capable of pulling off the win in Fiserv Forum. On the other end of the court, this is Butler’s second game of the week after having to host Villanova on Wednesday. That one won’t be fun no matter how the result ends up, and it’s still unclear as to whether the Bulldogs will have Aaron Thompson available for either of these games.
Here’s the full men’s basketball schedule for this week! All times are Central, as always.
Big East MBB Schedule: Week 14
|Tues., February 4||Xavier at DePaul||8:00 PM||FS1|
|Wed., February 5||#10 Villanova at #19 Butler||5:30 PM||FS1|
|#21 Creighton at Providence||6:00 PM||Fox Sports Regional|
|#12 Seton Hall at Georgetown||7:30 PM||FS1|
|Sat., February 8||DePaul at Georgetown||11:00 AM||Fox Sports Regional|
|#12 Seton Hall at #10 Villanova||1:30 PM||Fox|
|St. John's at #21 Creighton||5:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|Providence at Xavier||7:00 PM||FS1|
|Sun., February 9||#19 Butler at Marquette||11:00 AM||FS1|