Man, this Covid thing is really starting to get annoying. Out of the 4 games I highlighted, 2 were postponed, and the ones that weren’t were both Seton Hall losses. I mean, come on, I like Big East basketball as much as the next guy, but watching Hall getting lit up from 3 twice in a week isn’t exactly my idea of a good time. Anyways, let’s keep our fingers crossed for next week.
Another week, another disappointing performance from the Blue Demons. They got torched by St. John’s, and were beaten a little less badly by Creighton, who they actually led for a while. The reason for that difference? They held Creighton to 27% 3pt shooting. Shoutout to Ray Salvane, who put up 21 points, 5 boards, and 1 assist against Creighton, and Darious Alexander who did, well, this:
This week, I’m absolutely overjoyed with a Hoya win over Providence to bring them to 2-5 in conference play. It must be 2021. Anyways, the true star of the show was grad transfer Chudier Bile, who put up 19 points and 9 rebounds, the first performance that makes me think he may actually be as good as advertised. On top of all that, the Hoyas hadn’t been to lift or go to the gym since they went on pause. A pretty damn impressive showing for a team that could only do Chloe Ting ab workouts in their dorm rooms for a solid three weeks. Georgetown travels to Omaha on Wednesday, and I’m not super stoked for that game. Georgetown has struggled this season defending the long ball, so I fully expect Zegarowski and Mahoney to brutalize the Hoyas.
Butler didn’t exactly play too well against Xavier Saturday. They got lit up from deep and Xavier controlled the entire game. Their schedule this week shouldn’t be too horrific, but playing Marquette tomorrow should be a challenge. This could end up being a sneaky good game — stay tuned.
So, apparently DePaul broke Marquette last week. Since that loss, Wojo’s men lost two close matchups, one to Providence in OT and another against St. Johns. Now, if Marquette wanted a chance to go to the tournament, these were must wins. Now, finding themselves on the bad side of the bubble, Marquette has to stem the bleeding against Xavier tomorrow. This isn’t a super consequential game, but it should be a good watch in the same way that it’s fun to watch your 8 year old cousins play each other in Call of Duty.
St. John’s (5-6)
St. Johns has been steaming as of late, with an impressive road win at Marquette. Champagnie and Alexander are turning up together, and they put up a combined 37 against the Golden Eagles. But their success could come to a halt Wednesday, when Villanova comes to the city. A win over Nova would catapult them right into the bubble, but I’m not holding my breath.
Even though the Friars fell to Georgetown Saturday, they’ve been putting up some good looks. AJ Reeves put up 28 points last game, and get this: 18 of those points were from 3-point-land. Insane. The issue for the Friars as they take on Seton Hall will be keeping David Duke productive. Duke only had 5 points against Georgetown, a major factor in their loss. Good players have off days, and that’s what I think happened to Duke on Saturday. If David Duke can resume firing on all cylinders, Providence has a shot, however long of a shot that is.
We hadn’t seen Xavier since the 10th, when they edged out Providence by a point and subsequently fell into Covid Purgatory. But they had an impressive return, controlling the entire game against Butler. Now, of course, It’s Butler. Their true test comes when they play Villanova on Super Bowl Sunday. I don’t expect much from Xavier, because it is after all Villanova that they have to play, but Villanova’s been rolling for a while. Expect some madness come Sunday. Maybe even bet the Xavier spread to hedge all the Super Bowl prop bets you’re going to lose.
Nothing huge in the world of UConn basketball right now. They thrashed Butler Tuesday, but like I said before, It’s Butler. There’s only still radio silence on when injured star James Bouknight will be back, but he did make the top-20 Wooden Award Finalists. They play Seton Hall Saturday, a surefire game of the week with large Mailley Power Ranking implications, and less importantly, NCAA Tournament seedings.
Sidebar: Paige Bueckers, of the UConn women’s team, is a walking bucket and worth taking a look at. See:
If I was on DePaul and saw that pass off the tip, I would quit.
Seton Hall (6-5)
Seton Hall had a rough week, and it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying. They had to go through the buzzsaws that are Creighton and Villanova and kept the margins respectable. The Creighton game looked as if Seton hall was going to run away with the win, but choked a 68-52 lead. Horrific. Villanova was different, the wildcats held the lead the whole game and played like the #3 team in the nation. Now, some will take issue that I ranked Seton Hall higher than UConn and Xavier considering the two losses. the simple answer is that I think seton hall is the better team. That’s why its called a “Power Ranking” — I have the power here, not you. If Hall loses against UConn this weekend, they are for certain falling down a spot or two.
#15 Creighton (9-3)
Creighton really almost got killed by Seton Hall, but pulled out a crazy comeback off of a series of three-point shots when the Pirates started bricking their shots. Impressive comeback, but letting a lead like the one Seton Hall held materialize is suspect. they also held a tight game against *checks notes* Depaul? Seriously? Creighton has to convincingly handle Georgetown throughout the game for my opinion on them to stay as high as it is. Otherwise, they’ll really have to smoke Marquette Saturday stay where they’re at.
#3 Villanova (6-0)
This Villanova team is absurd. Were it not for Baylor and Gonzaga, I would say that they would be the odds-on favorite to win the chip. They just put the foot on their opponent’s neck and don’t take it off. I said last week they wouldn’t lose for a while, and it looks like I’m going to have to keep saying that into March.
But in all seriousness, I think that they have to lose at least 2 games to close out the regular season. Right? Like, entropy, or some other force of the universe has to stop them from steamrolling every school in their path. I guess we won’t know until they get upset or someone gets injured.
Games of the Week
Seton Hall vs. Providence, Wednesday 2/3, 7PM FS1
Seton Hall vs. UConn, Saturday 2/6, Noon FOX
Xavier vs. Villanova, Sunday 2/7, 2:30 TBD