Thanks to St. John’s rallying from down 19 on Sunday at The Garden, we have ourselves an honest-to-goodness title race once again. Kinda weird, since it was St. John’s that stole that race from us in the first place, but oh well. Take the excitement where you can get it, I suppose.
Let’s see what the highlights in Big East basketball are this week, shall we?
Wednesday, February 20: #17 Villanova Wildcats at Georgetown Hoyas (5:30pm Central, FS1) - This is probably not the game experience that the Wildcats want coming directly off of their collapse against St. John’s on Sunday, but it’s the one that they’re going to have to play. After losses in their last two games, whatever glimmer of the NCAA tournament that Georgetown may have had is presumably extinguished, but that doesn’t mean that this freshman heavy squad can’t ruin Villanova’s week completely. Do Marquette a favor, will you, Hoyas?
Wednesday, February 20: Butler Bulldogs at #11 Marquette Golden Eagles (8pm Central, CBS Sports Network) - Well, if we want this title race to continue to next week when Marquette and Villanova lock horns again, then we’re going to need Marquette to win this game at home. Seems like a reasonable expectation. However, Butler finds themselves drifting out of the NCAA tournament picture after losing in overtime to St. John’s last week. Their Saturday win over DePaul helped a little bit, but they’re going to need wins to make it into the dance, and they’re going to get road swings at MU and at Villanova down the stretch. The old saying is “no time like the present,” right?
Friday, February 22: Butler Bulldogs at #11 Marquette Golden Eagles (7pm Central, Big East Digital Network on Fox Sports Go) - Yes, Carolyn Kieger’s team suffered their first Big East loss of the season on Friday in New York. To a certain extent, that’s actually a good thing, as it means that the Golden Eagles can clinch a Big East regular season championship with a win in this game at the McGuire Center in front of the home crowd. That’s pretty cool.
Saturday, February 23: Seton Hall Pirates at St. John’s Red Storm (7pm Central, FS1) - This one has levels to it. First, there’s the fact that Seton Hall won the meeting between these two in New Jersey because the referees blew a call late, and not in the “REFS SCREWED US!” shouty kind of way, but in the “the Big East issued a statement to acknowledge the error” kind of way. Second, as of today, these two squads are tied for third place in the Big East with a record of 7-6, and while both teams have games on Wednesday that they’ll need to get through, that lends a certain amount of importance to this one relative to the end of the season jostling for seeding in the Big East tournament. Finally, both teams need a quality win to push themselves into the NCAA tournament. As of Monday morning, St. John’s was a #9 seed and Seton Hall was a #11 seed in the Bracket Matrix compilation.
Here’s the full schedule for men’s basketball this week. 10 games, but only three days of action. Enjoy!
Big East What To Watch: Week 16
|Wednesday, Feb. 20||Villanova at Georgetown||5:30 PM||FS1|
|Xavier at Seton Hall||6:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|St. John's at Providence||7:30 PM||FS1|
|Butler at Marquette||8:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|Creighton at DePaul||8:00 PM||Fox Sports Regional|
|Saturday, Feb. 23||Marquette at Providence||11:00 AM||Fox|
|Georgetown at Creighton||1:30 PM||Fox|
|Seton Hall at St. John's||7:00 PM||FS1|
|Sunday, Feb. 24||Villanova at Xavier||12:30 PM||CBS|