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Big East What To Watch: Week Five

The Big East/Big 12 Battle continues, and there’s some big time rivalry games on Saturday, too.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 28 Iowa State at Baylor
Is Baylor the top ranked team anyone in the Big East plays this week? Yes. Did I write about that game? No!
Photo by David Buono/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello and welcome to the first Big East What To Watch of December! Hard to believe it’s been a month already, huh?

This week, the Big East/Big 12 Battle continues with four more contests. We also get a couple of high quality games against ranked foes, and then when we get to Saturday, four Big East squads are playing notable rivalry opponents. Three of them are part of an ongoing yearly series, one of them is a home-and-home that’s ending this season.

Shouts to the league for giving us a little bit of a break and not scheduling anything on Monday, by the way. First time all year that we haven’t had Monday basketball!

Tuesday, December 5: RV Villanova Wildcats at Kansas State Wildcats (6pm Central, ESPN2) — This isn’t a must win game for Villanova, but it is a “so what is your entire deal, anyway?” game for the the Wildcats. After winning the Battle 4 Atlantis, including a win over a ranked North Carolina team, VU came back to the States..... and promptly coughed up two losses to Big 5 rivals Saint Joseph’s and Drexel. Largely speaking, they’ll be fine if they trend more towards how the trip to the Bahamas went..... but all three of VU’s losses on the year so far — all against Big 5 teams — are of the concerning variety. Taking another loss here, against a K-State team that just needed OT to beat Oral Roberts and North Alabama and lost their AP votes as a result is probably not a good idea.

Tuesday, December 5: RV Providence Friars at #19 Oklahoma Sooners (6pm Central, ESPNU) — Providence has just one loss on the year so far, an overtime defeat against (hey, look at this) Kansas State down in the Bahamas, and they’ve started picking up AP poll attention now. They also don’t have a big stack of particularly notable wins — Marquette losing to Wisconsin did PC a favor — so notching a road win against a still undefeated Sooners squad would go a long way towards saying something about Kim English’s ability to get the Friars back to the NCAA tournament.

Tuesday, December 5: #5 Connecticut Huskies vs #9 North Carolina Tar Heels (8pm Central, ESPN) — In a neat bit of coincidence, both of UConn’s basketball teams are playing the Tar Heels this week, and both are pretty notable contests. This one’s part of the Jimmy V Classic at MSG, and I don’t think I need to sell you much harder on a game between two top 10 teams.

Wednesday, December 6: #8 Marquette Golden Eagles vs #12 Texas Longhorns (7pm Central, FS1) — Two top 15 teams, one coming off an in-state rivalry game loss on the road, the other already with a loss to UConn on a neutral floor this season. What’s not to like? Oh, and the added bonus of Shaka Smart’s team hosting Shaka Smart’s previous team.

Saturday, December 9: Xavier Musketeers vs RV Cincinnati Bearcats (5:30pm Central, FS1) — As always, this one gets highlighted because it’s one of my favorite non-conference rivalries in the country and as has been the case the last several years, I don’t have to pretend I’m cheering for Cincinnati because it’s beneficial to Marquette. #ZipEmUp

Saturday, December 9: RV Villanova Wildcats vs RV UCLA Bruins (6pm Central, Fox) — Y’know all that stuff I said about Villanova and Kyle Neptune’s team losing Big 5 games and what is and is not a good idea for them earlier? Yeah, now it’s a bigger deal at home at the Wells Fargo Center in primetime on Fox on Saturday night.

Sunday, December 10: #19 Marquette Golden Eagles at Illinois State Redbirds (2pm Central, ESPN+) — No, I’m not highlighting this one for the bird-on-bird violence. For the second time this season, the Golden Eagles head out on the road to face a team that you wouldn’t necessarily expect a Big East team to go visit without a 2-for-1 contract or something like that. The visit to IUPUI went very smoothly, but Illinois State’s a better team than the Jaguars, turning up in the top 100 of Monday morning’s brand new first NET rankings of the year. By the way: This is the only game of the week for the last remaining unbeaten team in the Big East.

Sunday, December 10: #17 Connecticut Huskies vs #24 North Carolina Tar Heels (4pm Central, ESPN) — Is it time to start wondering if UConn is susceptible in Big East play this season? They’re 4-3 on the year right now, and they’re maybe a couple of plays one way or another from being 3-4 if the Kansas game flips on them. None of their losses are particularly concerning from a big picture, but the Huskies are not looking the part of a national title contender right now, and losing Azzi Fudd didn’t help that. They get a good North Carolina team at Mohegan Sun here, and it’s kiiiiiiiiind of a must win for UConn in terms of building a non-conference resume.

Here’s the full men’s basketball schedule for the week!

2023-24 Big East MBB Schedule: Week 5

Date Game Time (CT) Television
Date Game Time (CT) Television
Tuesday, December 5 Xavier vs Delaware 5:30 PM FS1
RV Villanova at Kansas State 6:00 PM ESPN2
RV Providence at #19 Oklahoma 6:00 PM ESPNU
Butler vs Buffalo 7:30 PM FS1
Seton Hall at #6 Baylor 8:00 PM ESPN2
#5 Connecticut vs #9 North Carolina (at MSG) 8:00 PM ESPN
Wednesday, December 6 St. John's vs Sacred Heart 6:00 PM CBS Sports Network
#8 Marquette vs #12 Texas 7:00 PM FS1
DePaul at #21 Texas A&M 8:00 PM SEC Network
Saturday, December 9 Georgetown vs Syracuse 10:30 AM Fox
Butler vs California 11:00 AM FS1
#5 Connecticut vs Arkansas Pine Bluff 11:00 AM FS2
DePaul vs Louisville 1:00 PM FS1
#10 Creighton vs Central Michigan 1:00 PM FS2
Xavier vs RV Cincinnati 5:30 PM FS1
RV Villanova vs RV UCLA 6:00 PM Fox
Seton Hall vs Rutgers 7:30 PM FS1
#8 Marquette vs Notre Dame 8:00 PM Fox
Sunday, December 10 RV Providence vs Brown 11:00 AM CBS Sports Network
St. John's vs Boston College (at Barclays Center) 3:30 PM ESPNU

Here’s the full women’s basketball schedule for the week!

2023-24 Big East WBB Schedule: Week 5

Date Game Time (CT) Television
Date Game Time (CT) Television
Tuesday, December 5 DePaul vs RV Green Bay 11:00 AM FloHoops
Villanova vs Penn 6:00 PM FloHoops
Georgetown at Colgate 6:00 PM ESPN+
Wednesday, December 6 Providence vs Rhode Island 6:00 PM FloHoops
#17 Connecticut vs Ball State 6:00 PM SNY
Thursday, December 7 Xavier vs Oakland 11:00 AM FloHoops
Butler vs Vanderbilt 6:00 PM FloHoops
St. John's at Fairfield 6:00 PM ESPN+
Friday, December 8 DePaul at RV Miami 6:00 PM ACC Network
Seton Hall vs Central Connecticut State 6:00 PM FloHoops
Saturday, December 9 Providence at Yale 11:00 AM ESPN+
Villanova at Saint Joseph's 1:00 PM ESPN+
Sunday, December 10 Butler vs Chicago State 1:00 PM FloHoops
Xavier at Cincinnati 1:00 PM ESPN+
St. John's vs Rhode Island 1:00 PM FloHoops
#22 Creighton at Wyoming 2:00 PM GoWyo.com/Mountain West Network
#19 Marquette at Illinois State 2:00 PM ESPN+
#17 Connecticut vs #24 North Carolina (at Mohegan Sun) 4:00 PM ESPN