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Big East Big Five: Week Eight

This weekly preview gets awfully easy when I just get to pick Villanova’s first game of the week.

NCAA BASKETBALL: DEC 28 Tulane at St John's
St. John’s is 2-0 so they get the top image spot this week.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images

Everybody’s played two games. We’ve got three 2-0 teams, four 1-1 teams, and three 0-2 teams. Show of hands: Who had St. John’s at 2-0? You can make the argument that all three winless teams aren’t that surprising given their opening pair of games, but the Red Storm vaulting to the top of the chart with Villanova and Xavier is a bit of a shocker.

Let’s see what we’ve got this week, shall we?

Use This Big Five

Wednesday, January 4, 2017: #1 Villanova at #18 Butler (5:30pm Central, FS1) - The reigning champs, still undefeated, ranked #1 in the country, going on the road to face a top 25 team? Yeah, that’s going on the list of Must Watch Games Of The Week. The Bulldogs were one of St. John’s two victims this season, so they could use a big bounce back victory at home to balance that one out.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017: Georgetown at Providence (6pm Central, CBS Sports Network) - Georgetown’s 0-2. At Marquette and at home against Xavier aren’t the two worst losses known to mankind, but you can bet that they absolutely didn’t want to be in a position of needing to win at the Dunk in order to avoid 0-3. Providence is also 0-2 right now, and like GU, you can’t fault them for losses at Butler and at Xavier. The Friars had a successful non-conference schedule, at least in terms of wins, but they don’t have anything particularly notable to hang their hat on at the moment. A win over the Hoyas might not qualify as that, but at the very least it would keep them out of an 0-3 hole.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017: #10 Creighton at St. John’s (7:30pm Central, FS1) - Congrats on your 2-0 start, Red Storm. Here’s your prize: A top 10 Bluejays team coming off their first loss of the season. Sure, CU lost to Villanova, which isn’t any cause for shame. However, Creighton’s going to be fired up to get back to their winning ways. Let’s see what SJU has to offer this season, especially with this game set to be played at Carnesecca Arena, not MSG.

Big East Women’s Basketball Game Of The Week

Monday, January 2, 2017: Creighton at Marquette (7:30pm Central, FS1) - There is a couple of different directions that we could take this, but there’s three teams at 2-0 right now, and one of them goes on the road to face the other two to open the week. We can’t guarantee that both Creighton and #23 DePaul will be undefeated on Wednesday, and definitely can’t guarantee that the Blue Demons and 1-0 Seton Hall will still be undefeated when they lock horns on Sunday. So, we go with tonight’s feature contest on FS1 between YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles, featuring Allazia Blockton, the league’s leading scorer, and Erika Davenport, the league’s leading rebounder, against the Bluejays, who tied with DePaul for the top spot in the league in the preseason poll. With DePaul’s Jessica January out for an unspecified amount of time with a broken finger, the MU/CU winner could end up in the driver’s seat pretty quickly.

The Worst American Athletic Conference Game Of The Week

Thursday, January 5, 2017: Connecticut at Memphis (6pm Central, ESPN2) - Now, I know you’re saying “hey, this doesn’t appear to be the usual collection of cheap shots at Tulane and East Carolina,” and you are absolutely correct. Ready? UConn is 0-2 in league play, and Memphis is 0-1. Someone is coming out of this with a still winless record, and that is delightful. At least Memphis had the decency to lose to SMU, who appear to be pretty good this season. The Huskies have losses to Houston and Tulsa, and they got smashed by the Cougars at home.