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Big East What To Watch: Week Two

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22 games scheduled for the week..... I think. Subject to change, y’know?

NCAA Football: Texas El Paso at Texas
Texas isn’t the best opponent on the slate this week, but they are one-half of the best game.
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, when I put together the schedule table for men’s basketball in the Big East, I had to go team by team in the Big East to pull everything together because the league did not have non-conference schedules punched into their composite page. This week, when I looked to put together the schedule, the non-conference games were in there. Boom, solved, easily put together then.

And then Seton Hall scheduled and unscheduled Saint Joseph’s in a manner of hours and then scheduled Iona instead (go read Matt Norlander’s Twitter thread for an explanation that makes both Kevin Willard and Rick Pitino look bad) and that sent me to the Pirates’ page for details of what was actually happening. And then I realized that there were a bunch of TBDs in the Big East’s time column. And then, because I was checking on Villanova’s game against Texas, I discovered that Villanova’s schedule for the week is horribly different than the one the Big East has.

And so I ended up double checking every single team’s schedule page again to make sure all the games are in there. As of Sunday morning, they are. This is 2020-21 college basketball in a pandemic, though, and we lost two games last week and gained two others last week, one of which did not even end up making it into the What To Watch. Oh, Creighton, never change.

UPDATES: Oh fun, the “subject to change” disclaimer came into effect before the sun even went down on Monday. St. John’s at Texas Tech is OFF. St. John’s vs Sacred Heart is OFF, although apparently that was actually something that happened on Saturday. St. John’s vs BYU is ON. Connecticut vs USC AND Connecticut vs NC State are ON, and I swear that those were not there when I looked at the Connecticut schedule. Or did I forget to check the Connecticut schedule? Who knows at this point. Seton Hall vs Oregon is ON. UConn-NC State is OFF.

Let’s talk about the highlights for the week, shall we?

Monday, November 30: Providence Friars vs Indiana Hoosiers (1:30pm Central, ESPN2) — Welcome to the Maui Invitational! Please do not ask questions about the Bojangles down the road, because this is in Asheville, North Carolina, and not the Lahaina Civic Center. The Friars are 1-0 on the year after a 41 point mollywhopping of Fairfield back on Wednesday, while the Hoosiers opened up the same day with a 89-59 victory against Tennessee Tech. KenPom says IU is favored, but it’s a cointoss. This is the only game of the Maui Invitational that we’ll include in the rundown here, but PC is set to play on Tuesday and Wednesday, and both of those games could end up being pretty notable.

Monday, November 30: St. John’s Red Storm vs Boston College Eagles (5pm Central, ESPNU) — This one is up in Bubbleville at Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut, which is where BC gave Villanova fits back on Wednesday and then beat Rhode Island on Saturday. St. John’s struggled against Saint Peter’s in their opener but beat La Salle about 16 hours later. What does that mean for the Johnnies against the Eagles? It feels like nothing good, but we’ll see what happens.

Monday, November 30: Seton Hall Pirates vs Iona Gaels (7pm Central, FS1) — It’s Rick Pitino’s first game against a Big East opponent since..... holy crap, since March 16, 2013? He never scheduled a non-conference game against a Big East team before being forced out at Louisville? Technically, they did play Connecticut in the very first AAC championship game on March 15, 2014, so you could count that if you wanted to. Even then, it’s been over six years and we get Rick’s return to the league on a hastily arranged game that may or may not technically count as screwing over Saint Joseph’s. What’s not to like?

Tuesday, December 1: Marquette Golden Eagles vs Oklahoma State Cowboys (6pm Central, FS1) — Theo John and his brand new found three-point shooting skills host the Cowboys and projected 2021 NBA Draft top pick Cade Cunningham for MU’s first major test of the season. It kicks off a run of three high major foes in the next four games for the Golden Eagles as they tune up for Creighton to kick off league play.

Thursday, December 3: St. John’s Red Storm at #17 Texas Tech Red Raiders (7pm Central, a yet to be determined ESPN channel) — The Red Raiders have looked great against mid-major foes in their first two games of the year as I type this, and they’ll be coming off a game against AAC favorite Houston in Fort Worth on Sunday for this one. This probably bodes poorly for St. John’s, maybe worse depending on how the Boston College game goes, but hey: Don’t count out Golden Gate Mike.

Friday, December 4: Nope, not a typo, didn’t forget to put a game in here. The 4th is the first day of Big East league competition for women’s basketball! St. John’s hosting Georgetown is the first of four games scheduled for the day, although a recent positive COVID test in the Hoyas program is putting that in doubt. The day also includes Marquette hosting Providence.

Friday, December 4: Marquette Golden Eagles vs #4 Wisconsin Badgers (6pm Central, FS1) — It’s a game against a ranked high major opponent, so that’s probably good. Watch it if you have some spare time, I guess.

Sunday, December 6: #12 Villanova Wildcats at #17 Texas Longhorns (Noon Central, ESPN) — I’m going with Texas’ time and TV information here because Villanova doesn’t list anything on their website right now. We’ll presume that the Longhorns know what they’re hosting. It will be a busy week for Texas after going Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday in the Maui Invitational before returning home for this one. Villanova will be responding to getting clipped in overtime on Saturday night in a hastily scheduled game against Virginia Tech and coming off a hastily scheduled game against Hartford up at Mohegan Sun on Tuesday. I have no idea what to expect from this game, but Texas did absolutely destroy UT-Rio Grande Valley in their opener.

Sunday, December 6: Xavier Musketeers at Cincinnati Bearcats (2pm Central, ESPN) — It’s the Crosstown Shootout! It’s my favorite non-Marquette non-conference game of the year, and getting to cheer against Cincinnati while cheering for the Big East is always fun. Xavier has already played three games and will play two more this week before this one...... while Cincinnati opens against Lipscomb on Wednesday. Yes, opens as in they have not played a game yet. That’s intentional, by the way, not the by-product of a COVID shutdown. Will that mean Xavier will be more prepared for the game, or does that mean Cincinnati will be on fresher legs?

Sunday, December 6: Georgetown Hoyas vs #11 West Virginia Mountaineers (3:30pm Central, FS1) — I am including this game because it is a Big East game against a ranked opponent. That is the only reason, because I am not expecting good things from a Hoyas team that needed a 16-2 run early in the second half to end up with an eight point win over UMBC in their only game of the year so far.

Sunday, December 6: DePaul Blue Demons at Iowa State Cyclones (5pm Central, ESPNU) — Here’s how DePaul’s season is going so far: They exited their two week COVID shutdown yesterday and this will be their first game of the season and it will be their only tune-up before they begin Big East play on December 11th on the road against Seton Hall. KenPom says they have a 34% chance of beating the Cyclones, which is their third best opportunity to win a game out of the five they have scheduled right now.

Sunday, December 6: Seton Hall Pirates at Penn State Nittany Lions (7pm Central, Big Ten Network) — ohmygodthere’sstillmorebasketballonsunday [deep breath] No Gavitt Games this year, but we’re still getting this Big East/Big Ten clash. It’s a busy week for SHU with a date at Rhode Island on Wednesday between Iona and this one on Sunday. Penn State is in a bit of a state of tumult this season after Pat Chambers made his exit shortly before the season started for some very not good reasons, but they did start the year with a 21 point home win over VMI. It would be a big deal for the Lions to get this win — and KenPom says they’re favored — while Seton Hall really can’t afford another loss after getting clipped at Louisville in their opener.

Here’s the full Big East men’s basketball schedule for the week as we know it on Sunday night.

Big East MBB Schedule: Week 2

Date Game Time (CT) Television
Date Game Time (CT) Television
Mon., Nov. 30 Providence vs Indiana (Maui In Asheville) 1:30 PM ESPN2
St. John's vs Boston College (at Mohegan Sun) 5:00 PM ESPNU
Xavier vs Eastern Kentucky 6:00 PM FS1
Seton Hall vs Iona 7:00 PM FS1
Tues., Dec. 1 Providence vs Davidson (Maui In Asheville) 6:00 PM ESPN2
#12 Villanova vs Hartford (at Mohegan Sun) 4:00 PM ESPN2
#9 Creighton vs Nebraska-Omaha 4:00 PM FS1
Georgetown vs Navy 5:00 PM CBS Sports Network
Marquette vs Oklahoma State 6:00 PM FS1
Wed., Dec. 2 St. John's vs BYU (at Mohegan Sun) 4:00 PM ESPN2
Providence vs Alabama (Maui In Asheville) 6:00 PM ESPN2
Seton Hall at Rhode Island 6:00 PM CBS Sports Network
Xavier vs Tennessee Tech 6:00 PM FS1
Thurs., Dec. 3 St. John's at #17 Texas Tech 8:00 PM ESPN Family
Connecticut vs USC (at Mohegan Sun) 6:00 PM ESPN
Fri., Dec. 4 #9 Creighton vs Kennesaw State 4:00 PM FS1
Marquette vs #4 Wisconsin 6:00 PM FS1
Seton Hall vs #21 Oregon (in Omaha) 8:00 PM FS1
Sat., Dec. 5 Connecticut vs NC State (at Mohegan Sun) 11:00 AM ESPNU
Providence vs Fairleigh Dickinson 3:30 PM FS2
Sun., Dec. 6 St. John's vs Sacred Heart 11:00 AM FS1
#12 Villanova at #17 Texas 12:00 PM ESPN
Xavier at Cincinnati 2:00 PM ESPN
Georgetown vs #11 West Virginia 3:30 PM FS1
DePaul at Iowa State 5:00 PM ESPNU
Seton Hall at Penn State 7:00 PM Big Ten Network