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Big East What To Watch: Week 16

What drama awaits us in the penultimate week of the regular season in the Big East?

NCAA Basketball: Maryland - E. Shore at Georgetown
Who are we kidding here, the most interesting game of the week is Georgetown hosting DePaul.
Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

There’s all sorts of important games for the Big East standings going on this week, because that’s what happens when we’re this close to the end of the regular season. Heck, some of the games aren’t important because of the standings but merely for what they mean to at least one of the teams involved relative to their postseason future.

If we were picking a Sickos Game Of The Week, I think we all know exactly which game it would be, too.

Tuesday, February 22: #8 Villanova Wildcats at #21 Connecticut Huskies (7pm Central, FS1) — I don’t need to explain this in super detail, do I? C’mon, it’s two ranked teams playing each other. Okay, fine, how about it’s second place in the league at the moment visiting one of the two teams currently tied for third? Villanova on a five game winning streak and UConn on a three win spree?

Wednesday, February 23: Marquette Golden Eagles at #7 Connecticut Huskies (6pm Central, SNY) — Marquette wasn’t that far from beating the Huskies when the two teams squared off at the McGuire Center a week ago. Can the Golden Eagles muster up whatever reserves they need to finish the job when they go on the road here? Not only that, but can they pull the upset and give themselves the quality win that they kind of desperately need for their NCAA tournament hopes?

Wednesday, February 23: RV Xavier Musketeers at #11 Providence Friars (6pm Central, CBS Sports Network) — The Friars have needed overtime to record their last two wins: at home against DePaul and on the road against Butler. Sunday’s win over the Bulldogs required PC to bounce back from down 19 in the first half just to get to overtime as well, and in between those two wins? They lost at home to Villanova. Things are a weeeeee bit on the shaky side for Ed Cooley and his charges right now, and in this one, they get a “definitely on the shaky side” Xavier team. Paul Scruggs and friends have lost four of the last five games, which is definitely not where you want to be as things get close to March. If they win at the Dunk, though.... that four of five stretch doesn’t look quite as troubling any more, now does it?

Thursday, February 24: DePaul Blue Demons at Georgetown Hoyas (6pm Central, CBS Sports Network) — This game is Georgetown’s last real shot at a win this season, at least based on the projections on KenPom.com. 43% chance of victory isn’t much, but it’s better than their next three, a lot better in fact. If DePaul wins this game in Washington, D.C., then things are starting to look verrrrrrrry real about the Hoyas going 0-19.

Saturday, February 26: Butler Bulldogs at RV Marquette Golden Eagles (12pm Central, Fox) — Marquette has now lost four of six after their seven game winning streak that vaulted them into the AP poll. Things aren’t officially bad for the Golden Eagles — those seven straight wins are doing a lot of heavy lifting right now — but if they can’t hold serve at home against a Bulldogs squad that just ran roughshod over them in Indianapolis 14 days earlier? Whooooooboy.

Saturday, February 26: Seton Hall Pirates at RV Xavier Musketeers (2:30pm Central, Fox) — Both teams will be in need of a win to keep their NCAA hopes burning brightly, particularly if they don’t come away from their games earlier in the week with a win.

Saturday, February 26: RV Creighton Bluejays at #11 Providence Friars (7:30pm Central, FS1) — We already talked about what’s on deck for the Friars earlier in the week, so all that stuff applies here as well. Creighton has to be feeling a little bit better about their postseason situation after beating Marquette on Sunday, but they have a mid-week road trip against St. John’s to contend with before they get to Rhode Island for this one. No matter what happens against the Red Storm, snagging this win against Al Durham and company would probably make Creighton a lock for the NCAA field.

Sunday, February 27: DePaul Blue Demons at Creighton Bluejays (11am Central, FS1) — This will be the regular season finale for both squads, and there might be some Big East tournament seeding on the line here. The Blue Demons have to get through a home date with Seton Hall on Friday before heading to Omaha, but if they get that win, then a DePaul win in DJ Sokol Arena would land both Creighton and DePaul in a tie at 15-5. The Bluejays won at Wintrust earlier this season, so that would throw the doors open to Lord only knows what to end up deciding who gets seeded where. Orrrrr maybe Emma Ronsiek et. al. score the home win on Senior Day and they get the #2 seed behind UConn. Or maybe Villanova runs the table on the rest of the regular season and slips past them for the #2 spot because we’re deciding this thing on winning percentage?

Here’s the full men’s basketball schedule for the week! All times Central, as always.

Big East MBB Schedule: Week 16

Date Game Time (CT) Television
Date Game Time (CT) Television
Tuesday, February 22 #8 Villanova at #21 Connecticut 7:00 PM FS1
Wednesday, February 23 RV Creighton at St. John's 5:30 PM FS1
RV Xavier at #11 Providence 6:00 PM CBS Sports Network
Butler at Seton Hall 7:30 PM FS1
Thursday, February 24 DePaul at Georgetown 7:00 PM CBS Sports Network
Saturday, February 26 Butler at RV Marquette 12:00 PM Fox
Seton Hall at RV Xavier 2:30 PM Fox
RV Creighton at #11 Providence 7:30 PM FS1
Sunday, February 27 #21 Connecticut at Georgetown 11:00 AM CBS
St. John's at DePaul 4:00 PM FS1