Hello and welcome to a new week of college basketball in the Big East!
Unfortunately in terms of quantities of basketball, this is Finals Week for most of the league. Between the men and the women, there are just five games between now and Friday. That also means a pretty stacked weekend of action, so that’s pretty good news.
This is getting published first thing on Monday morning because there are two Monday games to keep track of, but it’s actually one of them that requires this note: I have included last week’s Associated Press poll rankings for every team that needs one, with the exception of Creighton men’s basketball. They are marked as unranked. They have lost four in a row and if you think that there is a snowball’s chance in hell that they are going to get a single solitary AP vote in Monday’s new poll, I have some ocean front property in Wyoming to sell you. [UPDATE: 3 people voted for them!? What the hell?]
Onwards to the highlights of the week ahead!
Monday, December 12: RV Creighton Bluejays vs RV Arizona State Sun Devils (8pm Central, FS1) — Okay, so look, losing to BYU without Ryan Kalkbrenner in the lineup due to illness isn’t the biggest deal in the world. The fact that it came as CU’s fourth straight loss is a major problem, and the fact that the Jays now have to deal with crossing their fingers that Kalkbrenner is back for this game is also not great. ASU hasn’t lost in regulation yet this season, falling only on the road against Texas Southern in overtime. This game was already a tossup in terms of prediction/projection and if Kalkbrenner can’t go, Arthur Kaluma & Co. are very much in danger of a fifth straight loss.
Friday, December 16: RV Xavier Musketeers at Georgetown Hoyas (5:30pm Central, FS1) — Georgetown has lost 25 straight games against high major opponents and 20 straight games against Big East teams. They have not picked up a regular season win against a Big East team since March 2, 2021. This is their first Big East game of the season. I’m not saying watch this game, but I am saying that it is the Sickos Game Of The Week.
Friday, December 16: RV Creighton Bluejays at RV Marquette Golden Eagles (7:30pm Central, FS1) — Hey, y’know all that stuff I said about the Bluejays being on a losing streak and having a real chance of losing to ASU even if Kalkbrenner plays? Yeah, this is their next game. Have fun!
Saturday, December 17: #16 Creighton Bluejays vs #21 Arkansas Razorbacks (1pm Central, FloSports) — Holy crap, I get that Creighton knew they had a hell of a team coming back off the program’s first ever Elite Eight last year, but this non-conference schedule that Jim Flanery set is NUTS. This will be CU’s third top 50 NET non-conference game and fifth top 100 game.... and they still have to go visit Stanford right before Christmas! At least this one is at home, and it will be the toughest test of the season so far for the Razorbacks.
Saturday, December 17: St. John’s Red Storm vs Florida State Seminoles (1:30pm Central, Bally Sports Florida/MSG Network) — I’m highlighting this for a couple of reasons, none of which really have to do with the quality of the game. 1) This is apparently part of the Orange Bowl festivities, but also it’s 13 days before the actual Orange Bowl. 2) Even though this is ostensibly part of the Orange Bowl festivities, it does not have a national television clearance. What the hell, Orange Bowl? 3) I can not confirm this, but I think there is a chance that St. John’s gets kicked out of the Big East if they lose to a 2-9 FSU team with losses to Stetson, Troy, and Siena, even if it is effectively a road game in the Miami area.
Saturday, December 17: #3 Connecticut Huskies at Butler Bulldogs (6pm Central, FS1) — I’m writing this on Sunday, where the Huskies are 11-0 and ranked #5 in the country. There’s an argument for them to be #1 in the country when the new poll comes out. This is their only game of the week, and it’s also on the road, and it’s also their Big East opener. That all seems like it could be a big deal.
Sunday, December 18: #9 Connecticut Huskies vs RV Florida State Seminoles (Noon Central, ESPN) — Connecticut is loaded up with injuries right now, or least they were on Sunday when they lost to #20 Maryland. That was on the heels of a bad loss to Notre Dame and a struggle with Princeton, so they’re kind of up against it right now and prone to turnovers, too. This is a pretty good FSU team that should be coming in on a six game winning streak. Playing at Mohegan Sun Casino for the Hall of Fame Women’s Showcase effectively makes this a home game for the Huskies, but maybe that’s not enough with the roster they have available, depending on who’s dressed to play.
Sunday, December 18: #25 Villanova Wildcats vs #14 Iowa State Cyclones (2:30pm Central, ESPN2) — This is also part of the Women’s Showcase at Mohegan Sun, and this might actually be a bigger hoot than the UConn/FSU game. If nothing else, it’s a hell of a showdown between Maddy Siegrist and ISU star Ashley Joens, who’s averaging 19.3 points and 9.0 rebounds as of Sunday morning.
Here’s the full men’s basketball schedule for the week!
Big East MBB Schedule: Week 6
|Monday, December 12||RV Creighton vs RV Arizona State (in Las Vegas)||8:00 PM||FS1|
|Tuesday, December 13||RV Xavier vs Southern||6:00 PM||FS1|
|Wednesday, December 14||DePaul at Duquesne||6:00 PM||ESPN+|
|Seton Hall vs Drexel||6:00 PM||FS1|
|Friday, December 16||RV Xavier at Georgetown||5:30 PM||FS1|
|RV Creighton at RV Marquette||7:30 PM||FS1|
|Saturday, December 17||Providence at Seton Hall||11:30 AM||Fox|
|DePaul at Northwestern||1:00 PM||Big Ten Network|
|St. John's vs Florida State (in Sunrise, FL)||1:30 PM||Bally Sports FL/MSG Network|
|Villanova at Saint Joseph's||3:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|#3 Connecticut at Butler||6:00 PM||FS1|
Here’s the full women’s basketball schedule for the week!
Big East WBB Schedule: Week 6
|Monday, December 12||RV DePaul vs Howard||11:00 AM||FloSports|
|Saturday, December 17||Xavier vs Eastern Michigan||12:00 PM||FloSports|
|#16 Creighton vs #21 Arkansas||1:00 PM||FloSports|
|RV Seton Hall at Fordham||1:00 PM||ESPN+|
|Sunday, December 18||#9 Connecticut vs RV Florida State (at Mohegan Sun)||12:00 PM||ESPN|
|Butler at RV Marquette||2:00 PM||FloSports|
|#25 Villanova vs #14 Iowa State (at Mohegan Sun)||2:30 PM||ESPN2|
|Providence at RV St. John's||3:30 PM||FS1|
|Georgetown at RV DePaul||5:00 PM||FloSports|