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Big East Basketball What To Watch: Week Nine

Everyone has a week’s worth of games underneath their belts, so storylines are starting to develop for 2018.

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Marquette
Look, it’s not my fault that MU has all these great games scheduled this week.
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday, January 2: Butler Bulldogs at #5 Xavier Musketeers (6pm Central, FS1) - Congratulations to Butler on knocking off the #1 team in the country in your home arena. Your reward for such an accomplishment? A road game against the #5 team in the country. While it will be important to see how well LaVall Jordan manages his squad coming out of their win over Villanova, it will be equally interesting to see how Xavier handles this game. The Musketeers got pushed to the wall by Marquette in their opener, then fell behind by as many as 16 at one point to DePaul before eventually pulling out a five point win. Xavier at their best is nigh unstoppable, but when you toss in the recent escape against East Tennessee State, XU has struggled to assemble 40 straight minutes of quality basketball lately.

Tuesday, January 2: Creighton Bluejays at Seton Hall Pirates (6pm Central, FS2) - This isn’t the most important game of the week for the women’s basketball end of the conference (more on that one in a bit), but this one carries a bit of weight. Creighton opened up league play with a win over previously unbeaten Villanova and the Jays are currently tied for the very early league lead at 2-0. This will be the first of three games they play this week, all of which will be crucial for them if they want to maintain their spot atop the standings. Seton Hall opened up conference play 0-2 through no real fault of their own. The Marquette/DePaul road trip is going to be a nightmare for the travel partner system as long as Carolyn Kieger and Doug Bruno are coaching, and that’s the hand that SHU was dealt. The Pirates are a quality team, though, and avoiding 0-3 will be on their mind for sure. FUN BONUS: This game will be televised commercial free, and both head coaches will be wearing microphones so you can get the full feel of the game from their perspectives.

Wednesday, January 3: Marquette Golden Eagles at Providence Friars (5:30pm Central, CBS Sports Network) - Okay, look. This might not be the shiniest of fancy time matchups this week. However, MU/PC games have a weird ability to turn into freakfests. There was last year’s game with the slippery court where the refs stopped calling traveling if you slipped on the floor. There’s the infamous Bat Game. There’s the game in the Dunkin’ Donuts Center where Jeff Xavier’s brother game out of the stands and onto the floor to argue a call with the referees. There was the game where Henry Ellenson blocked Kris Dunn’s shot at the buzzer to beat a #8 ranked Friars team. There was the double overtime game later that season where Ben Bentil scored nine million points and MU still won anyway. I’m probably forgetting four other games in the series that went oingo-boingo. The point is: Watch the game, because weirdness abounds when these two teams hook it up.

Thursday, January 4: DePaul Blue Demons at Marquette Golden Eagles (7pm Central, Fox Sports Wisconsin/Big East Digital Network) - It’s the only game of the week for both of these two squads on the women’s side of the aisle, and they’re two of the three teams currently tied atop the Big East standings at 2-0. Someone walks away from this with their first loss of the season, while the other will remain undefeated and, based on the schedules for the rest of the league, may very well be the last undefeated team in league play by the time the weekend is over. Marquette was the preseason pick to win the league, while DePaul finished as the runner up in the preseason polling, and the Golden Eagles won all three meetings between the two last season.

Saturday, January 6: Marquette Golden Eagles at #3 Villanova Wildcats (7pm Central, FS1) - There was a pretty solid shot that Villanova had this game circled on their calendars when the season started. They probably weren’t very pleased about how they gave up a 13 point lead with five minutes to play at the Bradley Center last season, so you could see how they may have been looking forward to the game. Then they went and lost to Butler on Saturday, dropping them from the ranks of the undefeated this season. Nova’s also not playing again until this game, so you get the combo of revenge game AND “pissed/refocused because they lost” game here. It is worth mentioning that Butler swept the Wildcats last season, and that didn’t seem to have an effect on VU falling behind by 20 at Hinkle Fieldhouse in this year’s loss.

Sunday, January 7: Marquette Golden Eagles at Creighton Bluejays (1pm Central, FS2) - You know all that stuff we said earlier about how important the games are for both Carolyn Kieger and Jim Flanery’s teams this week? Well, they close out the week in women’s basketball by facing each other. How’s that for some drama? It’s very possible that this could be a 3-0 Marquette team visiting a 4-0 Creighton team by the time tipoff on Sunday afternoon rolls around.

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

Big East Basketball Week 9

Date Game Time (CT) TV Network
Date Game Time (CT) TV Network
Tues., Jan. 2 Butler at #5 Xavier 6:00 PM FS1
Georgetown at DePaul 8:00 PM FS1
Wed., Jan. 3 Marquette at Providence 5:30 PM CBS Sports Network
St. John's at Creighton 7:00 PM FS1
Sat., Jan. 6 Creighton at Georgetown 11:00 AM Fox Sports Regional
#5 Xavier at Providence 11:00 AM Fox
DePaul at St. John's 1:00 PM Fox Sports Regional
#21 Seton Hall at Butler 1:30 PM FS1
Marquette at #3 Villanova 7:00 PM FS1