The first point of this weekly article is to publish the chart below with the full Big East men’s basketball schedule.
The second point of this weekly article is to highlight the biggest games of the week in both men’s and women’s basketball. Part of deciding what games are the most important is looking at the standings and seeing what teams are trending towards the top.
This week, in Big East men’s basketball, your top five teams, and by the way, the only teams in the league at or above .500 right now are: Villanova (duh), Marquette (yep), Butler (had a rough patch, but sure), Xavier (wait what), and DePaul (HOLD UP A DAMN MINUTE).
So, yeah. That’s how we went into this. It’s a weird world we live in.
Tuesday, January 22: #18 Villanova Wildcats at Butler Bulldogs (6pm Central, FS1) - Ok, so not only is this two of the top five teams in the league squaring off, there’s also a certain amount of history going on here. Over the past two-plus seasons, Villanova has compiled a 34-7 record against Big East opponents. Butler accounts for three of those losses, with two of them coming at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Villanova hasn’t won there since 2016, and even then, in a season that ended with Kris Jenkins beating the buzzer, it was a fight for the Wildcats, prevailing 60-55. If they want to stay alone atop the Big East standings, they have to snap their two game skid at Hinkle, and the Bulldogs will be primed and ready to turn a skid into a streak.
Wednesday, January 23: DePaul Blue Demons at #12 Marquette Golden Eagles (7:30pm Central, FS1) - Since being hired to take the top job at Marquette, Steve Wojciechowski is just 6-3 against DePaul. It is not a coincidence that MU went to the NCAA tournament in the only Wojo year where the Golden Eagles swept the Blue Demons. I don’t mean that frivolously, either. Look at the T-Rank projections for last year if you flip the DePaul loss to a win. Get the stupid win against the stupid team and go to the NCAA tournament for the love of Pete.
Friday, January 25: DePaul Blue Demons at Butler Bulldogs (6pm Central, Big East Digital Network) - I’m putting this women’s basketball game on here because of its relevance to Sunday’s women’s basketball game that’s a little bit down the page here. Butler needs to get through this game to stay within a game of Marquette for Sunday afternoon’s showdown, and DePaul is coming off of a home loss to Seton Hall this past Sunday. The Blue Demons need the win to stay on track for the NCAA tournament, so they’re going to be motivated as hell.
Saturday, January 26: #12 Marquette Golden Eagles at Xavier Musketeers (1pm Central, FS1) - Okay, yes, the first meeting between these two teams turned a little one-sided in favor of the Golden Eagles. That was at Fiserv Forum, though, and as we have talked about extensively, Marquette has struggled on the road this season for one reason or another. Xavier’s 3-3 in league play so far with wins over DePaul, Georgetown, and Butler, and they might be 4-3 if they can knock off Providence at home on Wednesday. The Musketeers aren’t favored to win, but it’s a road game in the Big East, and this league has already been pretty wild this year.
Sunday, January 27: #10 Marquette Golden Eagles at Butler Bulldogs (1pm Central, Big East Digital Network) - For a couple of weeks now, this has been on the schedule as the most important game of the front half of the women’s basketball slate. After the first two weeks of the season, Marquette and Butler were the only two undefeated teams in the league.... right up until Friday when the Bulldogs lost in triple overtime at Providence. Still, Marquette is 7-0, Butler is 6-1, and no one else in the Big East is better than 4-3. One of those 4-3 teams is DePaul, which lends a little bit of power to that DePaul/Butler game mentioned above. No matter what happens to Butler before this game tips off, this game is going to have an impact on how the regular season title shakes out.
Here’s the full men’s basketball schedule for the week! Enjoy.
Big East What To Watch: Week 12
|Monday, Jan. 21||Creighton at Georgetown||7:30 PM||FS1|
|Tuesday, Jan. 22||#18 Villanova at Butler||6:00 PM||FS1|
|Wednesday, Jan. 23||Providence at Xavier||5:30 PM||FS1|
|DePaul at #12 Marquette||7:30 PM||FS1|
|Friday, Jan. 25||Butler at Creighton||7:30 PM||FS1|
|Saturday, Jan. 26||#12 Marquette at Xavier||1:00 PM||FS1|
|Sunday, Jan. 27||DePaul at Providence||11:00 AM||FS1|
|Georgetown at St. John's||11:00 AM||Fox|
|Seton Hall at #18 Villanova||1:30 PM||Fox|