Seven of the 11 men’s basketball teams in the Big East have either two or three losses in league play right now, and only four teams are over .500, too. Feels like this week could be a turning point for a lot of programs, huh?
Let’s dig into the highlights for the week.
Wednesday, January 19: St. John’s Red Storm at Creighton Bluejays (6pm Central, FS1) — Sometimes a game doesn’t jump off the page as an important highlight of the week. Sometimes you pull up the Big East standings to help add context to a week’s games and you realize that two teams are both 10-5 overall as well as 2-2 in Big East action. Clearly this is a big game for both sides in that case, and that’s what we’ve got here with the Johnnies visiting the Jays. St. John’s would love to get a Big East win that’s not over DePaul or Georgetown, while the Bluejays have lost two straight to Villanova and Xavier since beating Marquette in double overtime.
Thursday, January 20: #25 Connecticut Huskies at Butler Bulldogs (8pm Central, FS1) — Thanks to the wild and whacky world of COVID rescheduling, this will be the second time in three days that these two teams are playing. To a certain extent, this game is just going to be 80 extra minutes of Tuesday’s version of this game at the XL Center in Hartford..... but it’s also a chance to start fresh and these two sides are going to know each other extremely well after 40 minutes on Tuesday. Who knows what might happen?
Friday, January 21 & Sunday, January 23: #9 Connecticut Huskies vs Seton Hall Pirates & St. John’s Red Storm (6pm Central & Noon Central, SNY) — The Huskies were out in Oregon on Monday, shortly after they moved up one spot in the AP poll. Then they lost by 13 to the Ducks in a game that UConn opened up with a 10-0 run with Christyn Williams out of the lineup. To be clear, all of that 10 point lead was gone by the end of the first quarter and the Huskies were down 15 at the break and down 21 after three quarters were gone. That’s UConn’s third loss since Paige Bueckers got hurt..... but all three were non-conference games. They’re still 4-0 and the only undefeated team in the Big East standings. Will Williams be back for this weekend at home against the Pirates and the Johnnies? Even if she is, will she be 100%? Are they at risk for their first in-conference loss since before their sabbatical to the AAC?
Saturday, January 22: Seton Hall Pirates at St. John’s Red Storm (11am Central, FS1) — The Pirates have lost two in a row, both on the road just like this one is, to drop to 2-4 in Big East play and have lost their AP top 25 status. This will be their first game since losing to Marquette in Milwaukee thanks to a cancelation against Providence, and they’ll be in big need of a win. Meanwhile, St. John’s will be coming off whatever happened in the Creighton game earlier in the week and will either be looking to build/recover from that. FUN FACT: This is the first of two games between these two teams in three days as they will play a make-up date on Monday, too.
Sunday, January 23: #20 Xavier Musketeers at Marquette Golden Eagles (1pm Central, FS1) — I’m curious about what Xavier is going to do this week. They’re visiting DePaul on Wednesday night with an 8pm start. Then they have to tip off in Milwaukee at 1pm on Sunday, which means they have to be in Milwaukee on Saturday night really. Is it worth bouncing back and forth to Cincinnati? Does the fact that the spring semester started on January 10th for XU make a difference? Would they be more likely to stay in Chicago/Milwaukee if it was a Saturday morning game? Which situation (lots of travel or staying away from home) is more beneficial to the players? In any case, they’ll be facing a Marquette team aiming for its third straight win over a ranked team at Fiserv Forum and coming off a visit to Villanova earlier in the week.
Here’s the full men’s basketball schedule for the week! All times Central, of course.
Big East MBB Schedule: Week 11
|Wednesday, January 19||St. John's at Creighton||6:00 PM||FS1|
|Marquette at #11 Villanova||7:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|#20 Xavier at DePaul||8:00 PM||FS1|
|Thursday, January 20||#25 Connecticut at Butler||8:00 PM||FS1|
|Saturday, January 22||Seton Hall at St. John's||11:00 AM||FS1|
|#11 Villanova at Georgetown||11:00 AM||Fox|
|DePaul at Creighton||4:30 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|Sunday, January 23||Butler at #21 Providence||11:00 AM||FS1|
|#20 Xavier at Marquette||1:00 PM||FS1|