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Big East Power Rankings – Butler Rising

Now that we’re basically halfway through the conference season, the more you try to make sense of the Big East hierarchy, the more wrenches are thrown into the mix. You have Villanova at the top and Creighton and Marquette at the bottom, but in between those clubs it’s a battle royale with teams just wrestling back and forth with each other.

Still, with the second-best conference RPI (according to RPIRatings.com), the conference is set to get several NCAA tournament invites come March and set the stage for one heck of a conference tournament.

Alas, here’s this week’s Big East power rankings.

10. Creighton 10-13, 1-9
The Bluejays finally got off the schneid with their win over St. John’s last Wednesday. However, they followed that up by losing 67-40 to Georgetown. So as you can see, it will still be a grind for Creighton for the remainder of the season.

9. Marquette 10-11, 2-7
Marquette almost pulled off a shocker against Butler on Saturday but could not close and wound up losing by four in overtime. The Golden Eagles have now dropped five games in a row and only have to face Villanova and Seton Hall on the road this week. High sarcasm marks on that last statement.

8. DePaul 11-12, 5-5
Some doubt might be seeping into the Blue Demons’ consciousness now after losing three-straight games. Their home game on Tuesday against Seton Hall will be vital towards stemming their current woes.

7. St. Johns 14-7, 3-5
While the Red Storm did have a bad loss at Creighton, they regrouped to collect a most-impressive sweep over Providence with a 75-66 win over the Friars at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. With an RPI (according to KenPom.com) of 38, they get the nod over DePaul here even though DePaul beat them earlier on the year and has a better conference record.

6. Xavier 14-8, 5-5
Speaking of impressive sweeps, the Musketeers now own a pair of eye-opening wins over Georgetown. Xavier went on the road to D.C. and beat the Hoyas for the second time this season, defeating the Hoyas, 66-53 last Tuesday. The Musketeers did lose on the road to Seton Hall on Saturday, but their sweep of the Hoyas will be huge come March.

5. Seton Hall 15-6, 5-4
With two-straight wins over Marquette and Xavier last week while also getting back stud freshman Isaiah Whitehead, things are starting to get back to normal at Seton Hall. The Pirates will try to make it four in a row this week with games at DePaul and at home against Marquette.

NCAA BASKETBALL: DEC 14 Saint Peter's at Seton Hall

Freshman Isaiah Whitehead returns in time for a February run.

4. Georgetown 15-6, 7-3
As bad as they looked in their loss to Xavier, the Hoyas came back to wallop Creighton on the road on Saturday. The Hoyas are supremely talented but have had trouble with consistency this season. They face a tough challenge this week with a game at home vs. Providence and a road game at Villanova.

3. Providence 16-6, 6-3
The Friars saw their three-game winning streak snapped with a loss on the road to St. John’s on Saturday. With the way LaDontae Henton and Kris Dunn (who recorded a triple-double over DePaul on Thursday and won this week’s Big East Player of the Week award) are playing, though, Providence looks to be in great shape for the last half of the year.

2. Butler 16-6, 6-3
Through the duration of doing these power ranking this season, Butler is now the fifth team to grab the two spot. That just goes to show you the balance this conference exhibits. Now ranked no. 22 in the country, the Bulldogs are riding a three-game winning streak including a win on the road over Marquette on Saturday. They could make it a five-game winning streak this week with home games against St. John’s and DePaul on deck.

1. Villanova 19-2, 6-2
And then there is the constant that has been Villanova. All year, the Wildcats have stayed at the top, and they remain there after registering a couple of easy wins over Creighton and DePaul last week. They’ll face Marquette on Wednesday and then comes a revenge match with Georgetown on Saturday, both of which are at home.

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