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Big East Basketball What To Watch: Week Eight

LEAGUE PLAY LET’S GOOOOOOOOOOO

NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Round - Mount St. Mary's v Villanova Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Okay, I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news.

The good news is that CONFERENCE PLAY begins this week, and that’s always exciting and fun.

The bad news is that this article is publishing on Tuesday morning, and you still have to wait another 30+ hours before the games actually start.

As you might expect for a conference like the Big East, we get right into the wild and wooly games, and that goes for men’s and women’s hoops. Here’s the highlights of the slightly shortened week:

Wednesday, December 27: Butler Bulldogs at Georgetown Hoyas (5:30pm Central, FS1) - This is a pretty interesting game to officially kick off the league slate. We don’t really know what to make of the Bulldogs through their first 13 games under LaVall Jordan, and we definitely have no idea what to make of the Hoyas in Patrick Ewing’s first season in charge. This game could go about nine million different ways and end up telling us an awful lot or maybe even completely nothing about the two teams.

Wednesday, December 27: #1 Villanova Wildcats at DePaul Blue Demons (6:30pm Central, CBS Sports Network) - Villanova is opening with two straight road games to start the season, and because the second one is at Butler, we’re going to highlight their opener against the Blue Demons. Now, I know you’re thinking, “hey, come on, this Wildcats team is a freight train at 12-0 and #1 in the country, they’ll scoot right past DePaul no problem.” Well, your logic is sound. However, DePaul opened up Big East play against Villanova last year in the Pavilion, and that game was tied with 3:37 to play and Nova needed two free throws from Jalen Brunson with four seconds left to escape with a three point win. I’m not picking the upset, but I’m also not saying that Villanova can relax here.

Thursday, December 28: #25 Creighton Bluejays at #23 Seton Hall Pirates (5:30 pm Central, FS1) - BOOM, right out of the gate, we get a matchup of two ranked teams in league play. Creighton comes in on a five game winning streak, while Seton Hall picked up two buy game wins this past week after falling at Rutgers on December 16th. Both teams could use the victory to prove that they belong in the top 25.

Thursday, December 28: #18 Villanova Wildcats at Creighton Bluejays (7pm Central, Big East Digital Network) - To open league play over on the women’s side, the undefeated Wildcats take their show to D.J. Sokol Arena in Omaha, which will not be a picnic. The Jays were expected to be contenders in the Big East this season, and there’s no better way to start the slate off by dumping the only ranked team in the league. Meanwhile, Nova has been road-tested repeatedly this season and won’t be overwhelmed by what is sure to be a raucous crowd in Omaha.

Saturday, December 30: Seton Hall Pirates at Marquette Golden Eagles (6:30pm Central, Big East Digital Network) - The Pirates have jumped out to an 8-3 mark to start the season in what has to be a little bit of a surprise on the women’s side of the aisle. The losses are pretty understandable, but the wins aren’t overly impressive. There are worse ways than dumping the preseason league favorites in their building in the opening week of the schedule, but here’s the catch: Tony Bozzella has never beaten Carolyn Kieger in the McGuire Center. Marquette needs to get off to a good start in Big East action after a tough non-conference schedule left them without any high profile wins. This will be the second game for both teams, and the first ones (at DePaul and vs St. John’s) could very well leave both squads desperate to avoid 0-2.

Here’s the men’s schedule! Enjoy!

Big East Basketball Week 8

Date Game Time (CT) TV Network
Date Game Time (CT) TV Network
Wed., Dec. 27 Butler at Georgetown 5:30 PM FS1
#1 Villanova at DePaul 6:30 PM CBS Sports Network
#6 Xavier at Marquette 7:30 PM FS1
Thurs., Dec. 28 #25 Creighton at #23 Seton Hall 5:30 PM FS1
Providence at St. John's 6:00 PM Fox Sports Regional
Sat., Dec. 30 DePaul at #6 Xavier 1:00 PM FS1
#1 Villanova at Butler 3:00 PM CBS
Georgetown at Marquette 3:30 PM FS1
Sun., Dec. 31 Providence at #25 Creighton 1:30 PM FS1
St. John's at #23 Seton Hall 4:00 PM FS1