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Big East Basketball What To Watch: Week Three

They ain’t kidding when they call it Feast Week, people.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Sacramento Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

There is a metric TON of good to great games on deck in the Big East this week. We’re going to separate things out a little bit. First, we’ll give you a quick look at the high quality matchups that are guaranteed to happen. Then, we’ll highlight the possibilities of great games that might transpire thanks to the magic of Feast Week and multi-team events. We’ve also got a tiny bit of women’s basketball to mix into your schedule of events.

Monday, November 20: Marquette Golden Eagles vs Virginia Commonwealth Rams (1:30pm Central, ESPN2) - I don’t want to overstate things here, but this game carries more weight for Marquette than any other game. Win, and it means you move to the winners side of the Maui Invitational bracket, where the remaining two games will (probably) be against Wichita State and either Michigan or Notre Dame. Winning or losing those games almost doesn’t matter because of the RPI boost, especially on a neutral floor. Lose to the Rams, and MU plays two games against (probably) some combination of California, LSU, and Chaminade. There is a scenario where leaving Maui 1-2 is a much better result than leaving 2-1.

Monday, November 20: Butler Bulldogs at #17 South Florida Bulls (6pm Central, GoUSFBulls.com) - We get our first women’s hoops entry of the week, as Butler stops by the Sun Dome while they’re down in Florida for a multi-team event this week. I’m not quite sure what to make of the Bulldogs quite yet this season, but I can tell you that at 3-0, they need just one more win to match their non-conference total from last season and they’re halfway to their overall win total as well. The Bulls are 3-0 as well with a season opening win over LSU.

Monday, November 20: Creighton Bluejays vs #23 UCLA Bruins (6pm Central, ESPNU) - This is Creighton’s first game of the Hall of Fame Classic at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. It’s also the second straight ranked team that’s popped up on their schedule after beating Northwestern up at the Rosemont Horizon last week. The Wildcats almost went out of their way to devalue that CU win with their shelling at the hands of Texas Tech over the weekend, so we’ll get another measuring stick on the Bluejays here.

Wednesday, November 22: Belmont Bruins at Providence Friars (6pm Central, FS1) - Hey, remember during Henry Ellenson’s season at Marquette where the Golden Eagles lost a nailbiter to Belmont in the first game of the season? FUN FACT: Belmont is 43-20 since then, and they already have two KenPom top 100 wins this season. Turns out the Bruins are really good at basketball, and SURPRISE, they’re doing it with a bunch of juniors and seniors. This game will not be a picnic for the Friars.

Thursday, November 23: Butler Bulldogs vs #11 West Virginia Mountaineers (11am Central, FloHoops.com) - Butler! What are you doing to your poor women’s basketball team! This is part of the Paradise Jam, although it’s being played at Eastern Florida State College instead of the Virgin Islands due to hurricane damage in the Caribbean. It’s kind of wild that Butler is subjecting themselves to that South Florida game with the knowledge that they were going to be playing a pretty good WVU team as well.

Thursday, November 23: #20 Seton Hall Pirates vs Rhode Island Rams (5pm Central, ESPNU) - Any time you get assigned a game against the preseason favorite in the Atlantic 10, you’re doing pretty well for yourself. That’s the situation here for the Pirates in their first of two games in the NIT Tip Off. Weirdly, this game will be at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and not Madison Square Garden, where the NIT semifinals and finals will be in March.

Thursday, November 23: #20 Marquette Golden Eagles vs #12 Tennessee Volunteers (5:30pm Central, CollegeSportsLive.com) - I don’t want to call this the headline women’s basketball game of the week in the country..... mostly because I haven’t examined the full schedule to see if, I don’t know, Connecticut is playing Texas or something. Still, it’s two top 20 teams, at least as of Sunday before the AP poll updates on Monday afternoon, and it’s definitely the biggest game of the season so far for the Golden Eagles. Getting a win over a traditional powerhouse like Tennessee will be a big deal for MU as they head forward to make waves on a national level this year.

Thursday, November 23: DePaul Blue Demons vs #4 Michigan State Spartans (10:30pm Central, ESPN) - Ok, look. KenPom is giving the Blue Demons a 10% chance to win this game. Optimism may be justifiably low. However, given the day (Thanksgiving) and the time (late at night), it’s going to be the best game on TV, so if people want to watch late night hoops, they’re going to watch this game. Sounds like a perfect opportunity for DePaul to shock the world.

Saturday, November 25: Creighton Bluejays vs #5 UCLA Bruins (3:30pm Central) - Hey, what is it with Creighton lining up both their men’s and their women’s teams to play a ranked UCLA team this week, anyway? This one is part of something called “South Point Tournament” which is taking place in Las Vegas over the weekend. The South Point Hotel, Casino, and Spa is a bit south of the Vegas Strip, but it gives the Jays two cracks at Pac-12 teams after playing Washington the night before this game. The Big East is already riding high after Villanova dumped #11 Duke on Sunday, so this could be a huge deal if they pull the shocker.

RAPID FIRE TIME! Here’s a quick look at games we might get to see this week if the dice shake out the right way for us.

  • Creighton vs #22 Baylor
  • Marquette vs #6 Wichita State
  • Marquette vs #13 Notre Dame
  • Marquette vs Michigan
  • #5 Villanova vs #18 Purdue
  • Butler vs #1 Duke
  • #5 Villanova vs #2 Arizona
  • St. John’s vs #23 West Virginia
  • Butler vs #7 Florida
  • Butler vs #17 Gonzaga
  • DePaul vs #9 North Carolina

HOLY CRAP, THAT’S A LOT OF FUN. Ok, so some of the fun is actually games that we might not get because we’ll get a different fun game, but hey, the possibilities are enticing.

Here’s the lineup for the week.

Big East Basketball: Week 3

Date Game Time (CT) TV Network
Date Game Time (CT) TV Network
Mon., Nov. 20 Marquette vs VCU (Maui Invitational) 1:30 PM ESPN2
Molloy at St. John's 5:30 PM FS1
Creighton vs #23 UCLA (Hall of Fame Classic) 6:00 PM ESPNU
Hampton at #15 Xavier 7:30 PM FS1
Tues., Nov. 21 Creighton vs #22 Baylor/Wisconsin (Hall of Fame Classic) 6:30pm/9pm WatchESPN/ESPN2
Marquette vs Cal/#6 Wichita State (Maui Invitational) 12:30pm/3pm ESPN/ESPN2
Wed., Nov. 22 #5 Villanova vs Western Kentucky (Battle 4 Atlantis) 1:30 PM ESPN2
Belmont at Providence 6:00 PM FS1
Marquette vs #13 Notre Dame/Michigan/LSU/Chaminade (Maui Invitational) TBD ESPNU/ESPN2
Thurs., Nov. 23 St. John's vs Oregon State (Advocare Invitational) 1:00 PM ESPNU
#15 Xavier vs George Washington (Las Vegas Invitational) 4:00 PM FS1
#20 Seton Hall vs Rhode Island (NIT Season Tip-Off) 5:00 PM ESPNU
Butler vs Texas (PK80) 6:00 PM ESPN2
DePaul vs #4 Michigan State (PK80) 10:30 PM ESPN
#5 Villanova vs #18 Purdue/Tennessee (Battle 4 Atlantis) 11:30am/6pm ESPN/WatchESPN
Fri., Nov. 24 St. John's vs Missouri/Long Beach State (Advocare Invitational) 10am/12:30pm ESPN News/WatchESPN
Butler vs #1 Duke/Portland State 10am/12:30pm ESPN/ESPNU
#20 Seton Hall vs Vanderbilt/Virginia (NIT Season Tip-Off) 6pm/8:45pm ESPNU/ESPN News
#15 Xavier vs Kansas State/Arizona State (Las Vegas Invitational) 4:30pm/7pm Fox/FS1
DePaul vs Connecticut/Oregon 8:30pm/11pm ESPN Networks
#5 Villanova vs SMU/Northern Iowa/NC State/#2 Arizona (Battle 4 Atlantis) TBD ESPN2/WatchESPN
Sat., Nov. 25 SIU Edwardsville at Creighton 3:30 PM FS2
Georgetown at Richmond 5:00 PM WatchStadium.com
Boston College at Providence 7:00 PM FS1
Sun., Nov. 26 St. John's vs UCF/Nebraska/#23 West Virginia/Marist (Advocare Invitational) TBD ESPN2/ESPNU/WatchESPN
Butler vs #7 Florida/Stanford/Ohio State/#17 Gonzaga (PK80) TBD ESPN Networks
DePaul vs Portland/#9 North Carolina/Arkansas/Oklahoma (PK80) TBD ESPN Networks