The storylines all across Big East basketball are just bubbling up left, right, and center this week. A little bit of luck is involved because the games are preset to come along in this order, but it’s fun when the entertainment value of the league is self-apparent week in and week out.
Let’s get into the highlights!
Tuesday, February 15: #10 Villanova Wildcats at #8 Providence Friars (7pm Central, CBS Sports Network) — I wonder how many Fox Sports executives are currently annoyed at themselves for letting what has turned into a top 10 matchup slide over to CBS Sports in the yearly transfer of games. At least they put Georgetown on Broadcast Fox a whole bunch this year to maximize the ratings value of the league. Anyway, Providence comes in to their first meeting with Villanova of the season on an eight game winning streak since they haven’t lost since Marquette lit the nets on fire back on January 4th. The Wildcats haven’t lost to anyone not named Marquette in their last 14 games.
Wednesday, February 16: Marquette Golden Eagles at RV DePaul Blue Demons (7pm Central, FloSports) — Coming into the week, these two teams are part of the four team mishmash between second and fifth in the Big East standings. DePaul is in third at the moment at 12-4, while Marquette is 10-5 and in fifth place. The Golden Eagles will be looking to snap a two game losing streak here while also trying to secure the season sweep of DePaul after winning in overtime in Milwaukee earlier this season. The Blue Demons are 2-2 in their last four games with losses to the two teams in the top two spots in the standings.... but they also needed double overtime to beat Georgetown on the road on Sunday.
Wednesday, February 16: Seton Hall Pirates at #24 Connecticut Huskies (7:30pm Central, CBS Sports Network) — They’re not exactly at risk at this point, but it would probably be a very good plan for Seton Hall to win this game if they want to make the NCAA tournament. Meanwhile UConn is only 2-3 in their last five after sneaking past St. John’s at The Garden on Sunday. They could really use a win, and uh, glancing at their upcoming schedule? It’s not all smooth sailing the rest of the way here.
Saturday, February 19: RV Xavier Musketeers at #24 Connecticut Huskies (11am Central, Fox) — See what I mean about a lack of smooth sailing for the Huskies? Xavier comes in probably not pleased about dropping out of the AP top 25 this week after going 1-1 with a loss to Seton Hall and a home win over.... hey, look at that, it was against UConn on Friday. If they can get past St. John’s at home on Wednesday, this is a big opportunity for Xavier to get back going in a positive direction. It’s possible that they could be going for a third straight league win in this one, and that would be a season high for Travis Steele’s guys.
Sunday, February 20: RV DePaul Blue Demons at Villanova Wildcats (1pm Central, FloSports) — All the stuff I said about Aneesah Morrow and the Blue Demons heading into the Marquette game applies here, except run it through the filter of “how do they come out of the MU game?” Meanwhile.... oh, Villanova. The Wildcats beat UConn up in Storrs last Wednesday to hand the Huskies their first in-conference loss since before they went on sabbatical in the AAC, and then they beat Marquette in overtime on Friday.... and then they lost by 12 on the road against a Seton Hall team that needed the win to get over .500 in league play. I have no idea what to expect from them now, but they are part of the four team mishmash in the standings, so this game has a big pile of importance on deciding the seedings for the Big East tournament.
Sunday, February 20: RV Marquette Golden Eagles at Creighton Bluejays (2pm Central, FS1) — It’s a busy week for the Bluejays, who seem to be hovering on the cutline for the NCAA tournament at the moment. They host Georgetown on Monday after beating the Hoyas by 14 on the road on Saturday, then they visit DePaul on Thursday, then they host Marquette for this one. That’s a lot of running all over the country, while Marquette just hosts Georgetown on Wednesday and then goes to Omaha. Does that affect this game? Who knows? Marquette definitely wants to get revenge for their double OT loss earlier this season in Milwaukee, though.
Here’s the full men’s basketball schedule for the week! All times Central, of course.
Big East MBB Schedule: Week 15
|Monday, February 14||Georgetown at Creighton||8:00 PM||FS1|
|Tuesday, February 15||#10 Villanova at #8 Providence||7:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|Butler at DePaul||8:00 PM||FS1|
|Wednesday, February 16||St. John's at Xavier||5:30 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|Georgetown at RV Marquette||7:00 PM||FS2|
|Seton Hall at #24 Connecticut||7:30 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|Thursday, February 17||Creighton at DePaul||9:00 PM||FS1|
|Friday, February 18||Butler at St. John's||4:00 PM||FS1|
|Saturday, February 19||DePaul at Seton Hall||7:00 PM||FS1|
|RV Xavier at #24 Connecticut||11:00 AM||Fox|
|Georgetown at #10 Villanova||4:00 PM||Fox|
|Sunday, February 20||#8 Providence at Butler||12:00 PM||FS1|
|RV Marquette at Creighton||2:00 PM||FS1|