There are a lot of teams with a chance to make a major statement this week. It might be a statement about their position in the Big East or their position relative to the NCAA tournament field or their position in the upper tier of the national conversation about the sport of college hoops. There’s a little bit of everything on the table this week, so let’s just get straight into the highlights.....
Tuesday, January 31: #24 Connecticut Huskies at DePaul Blue Demons (7pm Central, FS1) — We all just watched DePaul go on a 13-2 run against Marquette and the Golden Eagles barely had a lead at halftime of a game they won by 20. DePaul can do some stuff is the point of the story, and if you’re not ready to play a full 40 minutes against them, they will get you, especially in their building. UConn has lost six of their last eight, they are inexplicably still ranked as a result of that and now they have to go to Wintrust.... and more on their week later.
Wednesday, February 1: Marquette Golden Eagles at #19 Villanova Wildcats (5:30pm Central, FS2) — I’m including this for the very important reason of Marquette needs this win to push themselves into the NCAA tournament, and the side reason of Villanova would probably lose their top 25 ranking if they lose the game. On top of that, this will be a Female Forward game on FS2, featuring two former Big East players coaching both teams in Megan Duffy and Denise Dillon, three female referees, and two women leading the way on the television production side as producer and director. That is cool as hell, and it’s a recent change to the schedule as it was originally announced as a Big East Digital Network Broadcast back in September.
Wednesday, February 1: #17 Providence Friars at #16 Xavier Musketeers (5:30pm Central, FS1) — We’re all going to be glued to the second game of the FS1 doubleheader on Wednesday, but the game immediately proceeding it is actually more important for the league as a whole. Coming into the week, Providence and Xavier are two parts of a three-way tie for first place in the Big East — Marquette is the third — so someone is coming out of this game in third place instead of first. It’s also the only “Two Ranked Teams” game of the week, so that’s fun.
Wednesday, February 1: Seton Hall Pirates at St. John’s Red Storm (7:30pm Central, CBS Sports Network) — The Pirates actually find themselves teetering on the edge of being in the hunt to be on the bubble of the NCAA tournament. Yeah, I know, I’m hedging this really hard. But here’s the deal: If they win this game — and their Sunday home date with DePaul, but one thing at a time — there’s still a pathway to an at-large bid. Lose, and we’re talking about needing multiple wins in their remaining games against Creighton, UConn, Xavier, and Providence to get there.
Saturday, February 4: #24 Connecticut Huskies at Georgetown Hoyas (11am Central, FS1) — YEP, THIS IS UCONN’S OTHER GAME THIS WEEK. Look, now that Georgetown snapped their losing streak by beating DePaul, this does not loom quite as large as it might have relative to “C’mon, GU’s gonna beat someone” and “Holy cow, the UConn train is off the rails.” But it’s still not great that the Huskies are in a situation where they absolutely can not afford to lose either of these games this week.
Saturday, February 4: St. John’s Red Storm at Creighton Bluejays (1pm Central, FloSports) — Heading into the week, this is third place St. John’s at 8-3 visiting fourth place Creighton at 8-4, so there’s a lot of standings stuff on the line here. Both teams have tasted the AP top 25 this season, but neither is even earning votes this week, so both will be motivated to keep their current hot streaks going. SJU starts the week with three straight wins, but has to host Seton Hall before this one, while Creighton has won their last two and five of the last six, and will host DePaul before we get to this one over the weekend.
Sunday, February 5: #1 South Carolina Gamecocks at #5 Connecticut Huskies (11am Central, Fox) — I don’t have to explain this one to you, right?
Here’s the full men’s basketball schedule for the week!
Big East MBB Schedule: Week 13
|Tuesday, January 31||#24 Connecticut at DePaul||7:00 PM||FS1|
|Wednesday, February 1||RV Creighton at Georgetown||5:30 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|#17 Providence at #16 Xavier||5:30 PM||FS1|
|Seton Hall at St. John's||7:30 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|Villanova at #14 Marquette||7:30 PM||FS1|
|Saturday, February 4||#24 Connecticut at Georgetown||11:00 AM||FS1|
|Butler at #14 Marquette||1:00 PM||FS1|
|St. John's at #16 Xavier||4:00 PM||Fox|
|Villanova at RV Creighton||6:30 PM||Fox|
|Sunday, February 5||DePaul at Seton Hall||11:00 AM||FS1|
Here’s the full women’s basketball schedule for the week!
Big East WBB Schedule: Week 13
|Tuesday, January 31||Seton Hall at St. John's||6:00 PM||FloSports|
|Georgetown at Xavier||6:00 PM||FloSports|
|Wednesday, February 1||Marquette at #19 Villanova||5:30 PM||FS2|
|DePaul at Creighton||6:00 PM||FloSports|
|#5 Connecticut at Providence||6:00 PM||SNY|
|Saturday, February 4||Providence at Seton Hall||12:00 PM||FloSports|
|#19 Villanova at Butler||1:00 PM||FloSports|
|St. John's at Creighton||1:00 PM||FloSports|
|Xavier at DePaul||3:00 PM||FloSports|
|Georgetown at Marquette||5:00 PM||FloSports|
|Sunday, February 5||#1 South Carolina at #5 Connecticut||11:00 AM||Fox|