If you’re reading this note, then this is the pre-Associated Press poll version of this week’s What To Watch. As we’ll get into in a second, there’s a Monday game on the docket, so this had to be written on Sunday and published on Monday morning. As such, the poll rankings that you’re seeing down below right now are last week’s AP poll rankings. Needless to say, after Marquette beat #11 Villanova to give the Wildcats their first Big East loss at The Finn since February 2017 as well as pick up MU’s first ever win in that building, I’m very much interested in what the AP top 25 looks like. We’ll update this as needed when the new poll comes out, but for now, we have to roll with what we have.
Ignore all of that, the new poll is out!
Here we go!
Monday, January 24: St. John’s Red Storm at Seton Hall Pirates (8pm Central, FS1) — This week’s What To Watch is getting published on Monday morning before the AP poll comes out because of this game, so you’re dang right we’re highlighting it. It’s also a rematch of a game that was played on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, and the Pirates held off the Red Storm for a 66-60 win there thanks to 21 points from Myles Cale. This game is going to be at Walsh Gym on Seton Hall’s campus, and it’s going to be a students-only attendance game as a result of the incredibly limited capacity. Why is it not at The Rock? Because “South Korea’s sensational boy band ATEEZ is reuniting with their fans in Newark” on Monday night. FUN FACT: ATEEZ is selling upper deck tickets for that concert, something that Seton Hall does not do for men’s basketball.
Wednesday, January 26: #17 Providence Friars at #21 Xavier Musketeers (5:30pm Central, CBS Sports Network) — I don’t know if Xavier’s still going to be ranked on Monday as I type this after they struggled against a DePaul team that didn’t have Javon Freeman-Liberty and lost to a white hot Marquette team on Sunday. Either way, they’ll have a perfect opportunity to fix their resume with the AP voters when the Friars come to Cincinnati on Wednesday night. PC on the other hand, will be looking to keep themselves in first place in the Big East as they’re the only one loss team left in the league. It won’t be easy against a Musketeers team that will really need the win to straighten themselves out.
Wednesday, January 26: #22 Marquette Golden Eagles at Seton Hall Pirates (7:30pm Central, FS1) — This will be Seton Hall’s third game in five days and if we’re looking at things from a “miles on legs” perspective, it’s been a rough last two weeks already for the Pirates. 82 possessions in a loss to DePaul, 71 possessions in a loss at Marquette, 76 possessions in a win over St. John’s on Saturday, and they have to play the Johnnies again on Monday as mentioned above before the Golden Eagles come to play them at The Rock for this one. Meanwhile, Marquette will be trying for their seventh straight win and presumably looking to reinforce their spot in the AP top 25 by the time this game happens.
Thursday, January 27: #9 Connecticut Huskies at #1 South Carolina Gamecocks (5pm Central, ESPN) — South Carolina won the first meeting this season between these two teams when they met in the Battle 4 Atlantis championship game.... and they won by a lot, 73-57. It was a hell of a game for most of the 40 minutes but South Carolina ran away for the big win late. But that was with Paige Bueckers in the lineup for UConn, and things have most definitely not gone well for the Huskies since she was injured at the very end of their win over Notre Dame . Can they figure out a way to win in Columbia?
Wednesday, January 26: #10 Connecticut Huskies at RV DePaul Blue Demons (7pm Central, SNY) — Okay, so look, UConn’s rematch with South Carolina was canceled on Sunday night since the Gamecocks need the space to reschedule an SEC game. Sure, cool, whatever. This means that UConn gets to make up their road trip game against DePaul. This is a battle between the first and second place teams in the league right now, and it’s the only two squads with less than two losses in league play. Interestingly, Marquette is the only team to have beaten either team in this game in Big East action so far this season.
Saturday, January 29: #22 Marquette Golden Eagles at #17 Providence Friars (3:30pm Central, FS1) — I’m putting this one on the board because it’s a rematch of Providence’s only loss in Big East play so far, which happened to be Marquette absolutely demolishing the Friars in Milwaukee. Weird things always seem to happen when these two teams hook it up, so why should this one be any different at The Dunk? There’s also a chance that this is the only game between two ranked teams in the Big East depending on what happens to Xavier when the new poll goes live on Monday.
Here’s the full men’s basketball schedule for the week! All times Central, of course.
Big East MBB Schedule: Week 12
|Monday, January 24||St. John's at RV Seton Hall||8:00 PM||FS1|
|Tuesday, January 25||DePaul at #14 Villanova||6:00 PM||FS1|
|Georgetown at #20 Connecticut||7:30 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|Wednesday, January 26||#17 Providence at #21 Xavier||5:30 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|Creighton at Butler||5:30 PM||FS2|
|#22 Marquette at RV Seton Hall||7:30 PM||FS1|
|Saturday, January 29||Georgetown at Butler||11:00 AM||FS1|
|#21 Xavier at Creighton||1:00 PM||FS1|
|St. John's at #14 Villanova||3:30 PM||Fox|
|#22 Marquette at #17 Providence||3:30 PM||FS1|
|#20 Connecticut at DePaul||5:30 PM||FS1|