Between Providence already clinching the conference title* (by way of winning percentage because they’re only playing 17 games due to COVID cancellations) and the Friars wrapping up their regular season on Tuesday, there’s a lot of drama that’s gone out the door for the final week of the regular season in the Big East.
Still, there’s some important things to keep an eye on this week, so let’s dive into the highlights.
Tuesday, March 1: #9 Providence Friars at #11 Villanova Wildcats (6pm Central, FS1) — This game would have been a lot more fun if Providence hadn’t already clinched the title*. The blame here largely goes to Connecticut for beating the Wildcats last Tuesday. Still, Marquette is the only Big East team to win at The Finn since 2017, so it could be a hoot to watch Nate Watson and friends completely boot this game since it kiiiiiind of doesn’t matter to them. Or maybe they win and devalue MU’s win against the Wildcats.
Wednesday, March 2: Xavier Musketeers at St. John’s Red Storm (5:30pm Central, FS1) — The Musketeers were holding a #9 seed on Bracket Matrix when they updated on Sunday. That’s going to be, largely speaking, a collection of brackets published before Saturday’s action.... and Xavier lost their fourth straight game on Saturday. Six of the last seven, too. Their regular season finale is .... well, we’ll get into it in a minute.
Wednesday, March 2: Georgetown Hoyas at Seton Hall Pirates (6pm Central, CBS Sports Network) — It’s up to you to decide what you want to see here: Georgetown running their record to 0-18 and matching the worst start to a Big East slate ever, or Seton Hall completely fumbling the ball? Either way, must pay-attention-to TV, even if it’s not must watch.
Wednesday, March 2: #18 Connecticut Huskies at Creighton Bluejays (7:30pm Central, FS1) — The Bluejays had a six game winning streak snapped on Saturday when they lost by 21 at Providence. That makes them 1-0 this season without freshman point guard Ryan Nembhard, who suffered a season ending wrist injury during the previous game. On Sunday, Bracket Matrix showed the Bluejays as 12 spots clear of the NCAA tournament cutline. Losing at Providence isn’t going to affect that much. But if the Bluejays don’t win again without Nembhard, who obviously won’t be available for the postseason either? Things are going to get very iffy very quickly. The Huskies have won five in a row and six of the last seven, and they’re not going to take it easy on Creighton just because they’re down a starter.
Friday, March 4: Big East Women’s Basketball Tournament First Round (10am - 5pm Central, FloHoops) — I can’t tell you what the games are right now because only four of the six teams are locked in place. The #9 and #10 seeds won’t be decided until after Tuesday’s Xavier/Seton Hall regular season finale. Still, three postseason win-or-go-home games on FloHoops, live from Mohegan Sun, not too bad.
Saturday, March 5: Big East Women’s Basketball Tournament Quarterfinals (11am - 10:30pm Central, FS1 and FS2) — The quarterfinal opener will be UConn vs the 8/9 winner, and that game is on FS1. The remaining three quarterfinal games, including #5 Marquette vs #4 DePaul at 1:30pm, will be on FS2. Worst case scenario, you flip over to FS2 to watch some elimination basketball when none of the other games are catching your attention, and that’s never a bad way to go through your Saturday.
Saturday, March 5: Seton Hall Pirates at Creighton Bluejays (1:30pm, Fox) — I would highly advise both of these teams to win this game if they want to be in the NCAA tournament. Seton Hall can’t afford a loss to a Creighton team that doesn’t have Ryan Nembhard, Creighton can’t afford a loss at all.
Saturday, March 5: Georgetown Hoyas at Xavier Musketeers (6pm Central, FS1) — I told you we would talk about Xavier’s regular season finale in a minute. Yeah. So. Xavier’s last real chance for a win that matters is on Wednesday. If they want to keep whatever NCAA hopes they have alive, they can not lose this game. Not even if Georgetown beats Seton Hall earlier in the week to get their one win of the year. KenPom gives the Hoyas an 17.3% chance of winning one of these games. Right now? The way Xavier’s playing? Hoooooooboy am I glad I’m not Travis Steele.
Sunday, March 6: Big East Women’s Basketball Tournament Semifinals (2pm - 6:30pm Central, FS1) — Come on, you saw this one coming. It’s an elimination doubleheader live from Mohegan Sun, and you get to see Paige Bueckers and Azzi Fudd play in the first game. What’s not to like?
Here’s the full schedule for men’s basketball in the Big East this week! All times Central, as always.
Big East MBB Schedule: Week 17
|Tuesday, March 1||#9 Providence at #11 Villanova||6:00 PM||FS1|
|Wednesday, March 2||Xavier at St. John's||5:30 PM||FS1|
|Georgetown at Seton Hall||6:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|#18 Connecticut at Creighton||7:30 PM||FS1|
|RV Marquette at DePaul||8:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|Saturday, March 5||#11 Villanova at Butler||11:00 AM||Fox|
|Seton Hall at Creighton||1:30 PM||Fox|
|DePaul at #18 Connecticut||4:00 PM||Fox|
|Georgetown at Xavier||6:00 PM||FS1|
|St. John's at RV Marquette||8:00 PM||FS1|