Hello and welcome to the second half of the Big East calendar!
Yes, okay, not FULLY the second half. Not every team has gotten to 10 games played yet, but 10 of the 11 women’s teams have with the final one getting to 10 today with a contest that was rescheduled, and four of the 11 men’s teams have gotten there. By this time next week, we’ll be completely on into the second half with everyone past the 10 game mark, so may as well mark it now.
We’re starting to get some real stratification of the Big East standings on the men’s side of the aisle with four teams holding three or fewer losses and four teams holding at least six losses. Does that mean that the rest of the season has to go roughly the same as the first half? Not necessarily, but we’re at the point of the season, both league play and overall where you kind of are what your record says you are.
Over on the women’s side, we’re got a clear top two in Connecticut and Villanova, and a clear bottom two in Butler and Xavier, but the middle seven could go any which way between now and March. We’ve got teams doing better than expected — St. John’s and to some extent Seton Hall — and teams really going through some struggles — hello to Creighton and Marquette — right now.
As each game passes, the conference standings get more and more solidified and locked in place. Each contest is slightly more high leverage than the last. If you want to change the direction your season is going in, you have to make your move now.
Onwards to the week’s highlights!
Monday, January 23: DePaul Blue Demons at #5 Connecticut Huskies (6pm Central, SNY) — I don’t think DePaul has a chance in hell of winning this game since they’re coming off losses to Georgetown and St. John’s. However, this is a rescheduled game from when UConn was too shorthanded to play, and the Huskies played on Saturday, and that was their first game without Azzi Fudd after another injury to their star guard. I’m telling an article long story here, so keep that in mind....
Wednesday, January 25: #13 Xavier Musketeers at #19 Connecticut Huskies (5:30pm Central, FS1) — Remember on New Year’s Day when we all said “oh man, can’t wait til these two teams get to rematch on UConn’s court? Yeah, UConn’s 1-4 since then as I write this on Sunday pending their home game against Butler. Even Xavier isn’t the same team they were then, falling to DePaul back on Wednesday. Both teams have something to prove right now, so it’s still a high value matchup in the league.
Thursday, January 26: #5 Connecticut Huskies at RV Tennessee Volunteers (7pm Central, ESPN) — This is UConn’s second game of the week and third since Saturday, and it’s on the road at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville against a Vols squad that has won eight straight pending the result against Missouri on Sunday and is pushing their way back towards the top 25. It will not be easy, and again: The Huskies are still shorthanded.
Saturday, January 28: #13 Xavier Musketeers at RV Creighton Bluejays (11:15am Central, CBS) — Big week for Xavier as they try to shake off that DePaul loss, then visit a desperate UConn team, then visit a Creighton team looking to continue to rebuild their reputation after the losses suffered without Ryan Kalkbrenner in the lineup. The Jays do have to host St. John’s midweek before we get to this one, but that could just be Greg McDermott’s team spending 40 minutes sharpening their knives for this game.
Sunday, January 29: #23 Providence Friars at Villanova Wildcats (11am Central, FS1) — The Friars bounced back from road losses to Creighton and Marquette with a home win over DePaul that was still very much in doubt deep into the second half. They’ll host Butler midweek before traveling to the Finn for Villanova’s only game of the week. It’s still hard to win in Villanova’s barn, but also PC’s chances at a league title are starting to look like they could hinge on getting this win since Marquette and Xavier already did beat VU on the road this season.
Sunday, January 29: #21 Villanova Wildcats at #5 Connecticut Huskies (1pm Central, CBS Sports Network) — And so we reach the conclusion of our story where 1) Shorthanded UConn plays four games in nine days and 2) the fourth one is against the team that snapped their conference winning streak a year ago, and 3) this is Villanova’s only game of the week so they can just sit back and relax while the Huskies go through the wringer. I am DEEPLY fascinated as to what Maddy Siegrist is capable of doing here.
Sunday, January 29: Georgetown Hoyas at St. John’s Red Storm (1pm Central, FS1) — This is a SICKOS GAME OF THE WEEK alert and nothing more. Someone at St. John’s elected to play this game at Madison Square Garden, and yes, given the long history of the entire league, I get why they did. But also no one wants to see this game because Georgetown stinks. Also: I think it would be very funny if Georgetown wins this game because then we can start saying things like “Georgetown hasn’t won a game against a Big East opponent away from Madison Square Garden, which is not their home arena, since March 2, 2021.”
Here’s the full men’s basketball schedule for the week!
Big East MBB Schedule: Week 12
|Tuesday, January 24||DePaul at Georgetown||6:00 PM||FS1|
|Wednesday, January 25||#13 Xavier at #19 Connecticut||5:30 PM||FS1|
|Butler at #23 Providence||7:30 PM||FS1|
|St. John's at RV Creighton||8:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|Saturday, January 28||#13 Xavier at RV Creighton||11:15 AM||CBS|
|#16 Marquette at DePaul||1:00 PM||FS1|
|Seton Hall at Butler||3:00 PM||FS1|
|Sunday, January 29||#23 Providence at Villanova||11:00 AM||FS1|
|Georgetown at St. John's||1:00 PM||FS1|
Here’s the full women’s basketball schedule for the week!
Big East WBB Schedule: Week 12
|Monday, January 23||DePaul at #5 Connecticut||6:00 PM||SNY|
|Tuesday, January 24||Creighton at Providence||6:00 PM||FloSports|
|Wednesday, January 25||Seton Hall at Georgetown||6:00 PM||FloSports|
|Butler at St. John's||6:00 PM||FloSports|
|Xavier at Marquette||7:00 PM||FloSports|
|Thursday, January 26||#5 Connecticut at RV Tennessee||7:00 PM||ESPN|
|Saturday, January 28||Creighton at Georgetown||12:00 PM||FloSports|
|DePaul at Seton Hall||12:00 PM||FloSports|
|Providence at Xavier||1:00 PM||FloSports|
|Sunday, January 29||Marquette at Butler||1:00 PM||FloSports|
|#21 Villanova at #5 Connecticut||1:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|