It’s the final week of the regular season for Big East men’s basketball, and the luck of the draw has given us some very juicy matchups. Let’s just get right to it.
Tuesday, March 3: Marquette Golden Eagles at DePaul Blue Demons (7pm Central, FS1) - The Golden Eagles have lost four of five games since finding themselves in the AP poll for the first time this season. At this point, they have too many good wins with no bad losses to truly be in danger of missing the NCAA tournament...... but they also need to snap out of this funk in the worst way possible. The Golden Eagles had to rally to beat the Blue Demons earlier this season in Milwaukee, so this probably won’t be easy.
Wednesday, March 4: Xavier Musketeers at Providence Friars (5:30pm Central, FS1) - This is going to sound weird, but this is a game that the league office probably doesn’t want to see happen right now. A check of Bracket Matrix tells us that Xavier and Providence are both projecting as #10 seeds in the NCAA tournament right now. The X-Men are the best 10 seed while the Friars are on the other end of the seed line and thus just six spots short of the at-large cutline. It’s in the Big East’s interest for neither team to lose this game, because at this point in the season, a loss in either direction has the potential to prevent that team from making it into the NCAA field.
Wednesday, March 4: #14 Villanova Wildcats at #8 Seton Hall Pirates (7:30pm Central, FS1) - The Wildcats are mathematically still alive for a share of the Big East title at this point, but it requires them to win each of their remaining games and then get help. They get a chance to help themselves right here by visiting The Rock to try to slow down Myles Powell and company. A win by the Pirates would clinch the regular season title for Seton Hall outright, so they will probably be very motivated on Senior Night to take care of that.
Saturday, March 7: #8 Seton Hall Pirates at #11 Creighton Bluejays (1:30pm Central, Fox) - If Villanova succeeds in their mission to prolong the regular season title race on Wednesday, then the Wildcats will be cheering for the Bluejays here. Kind of an odd turnaround for Villanova fans, as they were cheering against Creighton on Saturday when St. John’s absolutely stole their lunch in New York. That loss kind of took the luster off this game, as Creighton had been on a five game winning streak and was seemingly on a collision course with the Pirates for this game. Had they not flubbed the game against the Johnnies, this probably would have turned into a game where Creighton could have pulled the Pirates into a tie for first. Anyway, this will be Seton Hall’s final chance to lock up the regular season title if they don’t get the job done on Wednesday. They only need one more win to prevent anyone from tying them and forcing a shared title this season.
Friday, Saturday, & Sunday: The Big East women’s basketball tournament is starting this weekend! There’s a doubleheader streamed for free on YouTube on Friday, a quarterfinal quadrupleheader on Saturday on FS2, and then the semifinals on Sunday on FS1. Marquette doesn’t start play until the evening end of the quadrupleheader on Saturday, but hoops is hoops, man. Get your fix however you need to get your fix.
Here’s the men’s basketball schedule for the week, with all times Central.
Big East MBB Schedule: Week 18
|Tues., March 3||Marquette at DePaul||7:00 PM||FS1|
|Wed., March 4||Xavier at Providence||5:30 PM||FS1|
|Georgetown at #11 Creighton||6:00 PM||Fox Sports Regional|
|St. John's at Butler||6:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|#14 Villanova at #8 Seton Hall||7:30 PM||FS1|
|Sat., March 7||#14 Villanova at Georgetown||11:00 AM||Fox|
|Marquette at St. John's||11:00 AM||Fox Sports Regional|
|#8 Seton Hall at #11 Creighton||1:30 PM||Fox|
|DePaul at Providence||5:30 PM||FS1|
|Butler at Xavier||7:30 PM||FS1|