While this week’s power rankings mirror the actual standings of the Big East, there is still some movement and change from last week’s rankings to discuss.
Once again there is a lot of battling between the middle squads of the conference. That makes perfect sense since a few teams are trying to make their case for NCAA Tournament inclusion, and this is the month where those intense wars will define the conference.
So let’s one again assess this week’s Big East power rankings.
10. Creighton 11-14, 2-10
Kudos go out to the Bluejays for a most impressive win on the road at Xavier (the first time the Musketeers lost at home this season) last Wednesday. However, no momentum was gained as they were trounced by St. John’s in their next game. In a transition year, these type of inconsistencies are to be expected. Still, Creighton is proving to be a tough out.
9. Marquette 11-12, 3-8
You have to give the Golden Eagles a lot of credit for going into Newark and beating Seton Hall. Even more impressive is they did it with Matt Carlino sidelined with a concussion. Hopefully, Carlino can come back soon.
8. St. John’s 15-8, 4-6
The Red Storm are treading lightly. No one can blame them for losing at Butler, but the way they lost and Chris Obekpa being tossed for a flagrant foul left a bad taste in their mouths. However, they regrouped to blow out Creighton on Saturday while sitting Obekpa almost the entire game. Their home game against DePaul Wednesday will prove to be huge for their NCAA chances.
7. Seton Hall 15-8, 5-6
No team is colder in the Big East than the Pirates. After a fabulous start, Seton Hall has now dropped five out of their last seven. As a result, their candidacy for an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament is dwindling. The bad news may continue since the Pirates’ schedule this week is tough as they face Georgetown at home Tuesday before finishing the week at Providence on Saturday.
6. DePaul 12-13, 6-6
If you take into consideration the bubble watch (in regards to RPI and such), then St. John’s and Seton Hall would be ahead of the Blue Demons. But considering DePaul swept Seton Hall and already beat St. John’s, it deserves the six-spot ahead of them. After years of ineptness, for DePaul to be .500 through 12 games is still impressive.
5. Xavier 15-9, 6-6
While their loss to Creighton last week stung, The Musketeers made up for it with a win over Providence on Saturday. With a KenPom RPI of 26, Xavier is looking like a strong candidate to make the NCAA Tournament. It could be set up for a good week with a game at Marquette Tuesday before hosting St. John’s on Saturday.
4. Georgetown 15-8, 7-5
Since destroying Villanova a couple of weeks ago the Hoyas have not been playing up to their potential, winning just two out of their last five games with their only wins in that time against Marquette and Creighton. That said, they are too talented and well-coached to panic.
3. Providence 17-7, 7-4
First of all, let’s hope head coach Chris Cooley is feeling better after having to leave the bench with an illness in Saturday’s game at Xavier. Prior to their loss at Xavier, Providence got a huge win at Georgetown to complete a season sweep of the Hoyas. The Friars are now back home for two home games this week against Villanova and Seton Hall.
2. Butler 18-6, 8-3
The Bulldogs are absolutely rolling right now with five-straight wins. They took down both St. John’s and DePaul at home this week and are the hottest team in the Big East at the moment. Butler’s next game is quite the doozy as it hosts Villanova on Saturday, which should amount to the game of the year in the Big East.
1. Villanova 21-2, 8-2
It’s all about maintenance with the Wildcats now as they look to sew up a high-seed in the NCAA Tournament. That said, they still have to lock up the Big East regular season championship, and their game at Butler next Saturday will be crucial in that endeavor. First things first, though, as they have to head to Providence on Wednesday, which is another tough game. Suffice to say, Villanova will be tested this week.