Monday, January 29: Marquette Golden Eagles at DePaul Blue Demons (8pm Central, FS1) - Well, this is certainly one hell of a way to kick off the second half of the round robin for these two women’s basketball teams. Everyone else in the league played their first two games of the second pass over the weekend, leaving travel partners DePaul and Marquette to play each other to finish the first cycle. Here’s how the standings look right now: Marquette at 8-1, DePaul at 7-2, two teams at 7-4, four teams at 5-6. Essentially, Monday night’s game will determine who gets the #1 seed in the Big East tournament. Either Marquette wins and they have a two game lead and will likely be favored in every game left on the schedule, or DePaul wins, moves both teams to 8-2, and creates a season series split at 1-1. That means the rest of the season will be an eight game tiebreaker series for the two, where both teams will likely be favored in all of them. No pressure!
Wednesday, January 31: Providence Friars at Seton Hall Pirates (6pm Central, FS1) - This is a potentially tantalizing matchup in the Big East right now. According to the standings, it’s the two teams tied for fourth place, so purely from a jockeying perspective, this is a big deal. It’s also the first time that these two teams have played this season, so the impact of playing each other hasn’t been measured on the standings yet. Providence has had a week off since losing at Villanova last Tuesday to snap a four game winning streak, while Seton Hall has been on a skid since losing to Marquette, dropping three of their last five.
Thursday, February 1: Creighton Bluejays at #1 Villanova Wildcats (6:30pm Central, FS1) - The discrepancy between Creighton and Villanova in the standings is kind of weird right now. The Wildcats are in first at 7-1, while the Bluejays are in third at 7-3. Yep, one team has played eight games, while the other is up at 10 already. That adds a certain amount of desperation to the proceedings, as Creighton is already into their second half of the slate, while Nova will finish their first half here. Much like Providence/Seton Hall, this is the first meeting this season between the two, and there’s a lot of weirdness with the rosters. Villanova played their first game without Phil Booth on Sunday and escaped Milwaukee with a three point win, while Creighton big man Jacob Epperson made his collegiate debut against Georgetown, scoring two points, grabbing two rebounds, and dishing an assist. The Aussie has been pressed into service due to the season ending injury to Martin Krampelj, so we’ll have to see how Greg McDermott works him into the lineup as Epperson is also bouncing back from an injury.
Sunday, February 4: Seton Hall Pirates at #1 Villanova Wildcats (11am Central, Fox) - We combine each of the last two games to get this one. Depending on how the Providence game goes, Seton Hall could be teetering on the brink of a full blown meltdown by the time they head to the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday. It’ll be the second home game of the week for the Wildcats, and they’ll be getting tests from both of the Big East teams that were ranked earlier in the season but have since fallen out of the poll. Beating the #1 team in the country is certainly the easiest way for a team to bounce back into the top 25, so you can be sure that VU will get both barrels from the Pirates here.
Friday, February 2 & Sunday, February 4: Creighton Bluejays at DePaul Blue Demons/Marquette Golden Eagles (7pm Friday, Big East Digital Network/1pm Sunday, Big East Digital Network) - I’m lumping these two women’s games together largely because of the status of Monday night’s game. The nature of a “here’s what’s coming this week” article like this is that I have to assess Friday and Sunday games from the Sunday or Monday before them, and sometimes that means that there’s a game in between that could alter things. Case in point: If DePaul beats Marquette on Monday night, then both Creighton games (the Jays are one of the 7-4 teams) against the Blue Demons and Golden Eagles become very important for the sake of the Big East standings. If Marquette wins, then really only the Sunday game between Creighton and the Golden Eagles is important, but of course, it really only maintains its importance if the Jays beat DePaul on Friday. Did all of that make sense?
Here’s the men’s basketball schedule for the week! Enjoy!
Big East Basketball Week 13
|Date||Game||Time (CT)||TV Network|
|Date||Game||Time (CT)||TV Network|
|Tues., Jan. 30||#6 Xavier at St. John's||7:30 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|Wed., Jan. 31||Providence at Seton Hall||6:00 PM||FS1|
|Butler at Marquette||8:00 PM||FS1|
|Thurs., Feb. 1||Creighton at #1 Villanova||6:30 PM||FS1|
|Sat., Feb. 3||DePaul at Butler||11:00 AM||FS1|
|#4 Duke at St. John's||11:00 AM||Fox|
|Providence at Marquette||1:30 PM||FS1|
|Georgetown at #6 Xavier||5:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|Sun., Feb. 4||Seton Hall at #1 Villanova||11:00 AM||Fox|