Hi all, this week I’m going to have a slightly shorter roundup than usual, but next week I’ll be back with my usual piece. Into the power rankings we go!
Not much I can say about DePaul this week that I haven’t already said (I need new material to dunk on DePaul with. If you have any good ideas, hit my DM). They got drubbed by a sliding Providence, and have a tough schedule going forward.
Since I last checked in on Marquette, they’ve taken two straight L’s: one to Nova and then one to Hall. Not exactly unreasonable losses, but still, they got smoked by Villanova, 85-68. I know Villanova is the best team in the conference, but 17? Come on Woj, keep it respectable.
Butler proved last week that they were the lesser of the two bulldog mascots in the Conference, getting beaten badly by Georgetown and then barely edging out St. Johns in overtime.
Georgetown just could not get their shots to fall against Creighton last Tuesday. The Bluejays dominated them the entire game to the point that the Hoyas only scored 48 on, uh, 26% shooting. I mean, it’s one thing to have off days, but this is a new low. Thankfully, they bested Butler by 15 in a must win game, and it seems like grad-transfer Chudier Bile is back in form. I think that his success has a large effect on the team in general, and they’ll need him to be on his a-game when Ewing and his Hoyas take on Seton Hall this weekend.
For a second there it seemed as if Providence was sliding back into that back quarter of the Big East that you don’t want to be sliding into, but the Friars righted the ship with a big win over UConn. Nate Watson and David Duke added 17 points each, and the next week they beat DePaul. At this point, the only thing I can say about playing DePaul is that it’s a twice-weekly chore that the league rotates through. It’s just taking out the trash.
If Mike Anderson doesn’t get Big East coach of the year, then I don’t know what in the hell is up with the voting. St. John’s had been on an absolute tear recently, and only this week ended their hot streak with a 3pt overtime loss to Butler. I can’t fault them too much for that, because after all, this is the Big East, but they did have a lead as large as 16 in the first half. All in all, it was an understandable loss, but they need to regain momentum against Xavier tonight and run up the score on DePaul Saturday to stay on the right side of the bubble.
Xavier has lost so much time to Covid pauses that they’re a hard team to pin down, but I would have liked to see a stronger effort on the defensive glass from the Musketeers, and the rest of the team kind of folded around Zach Freemantle. Xavier is solidly on the right side of the bubble, and they have a manageable schedule to finish out the season with. Still, it remains to be seen if Xavier can buck up and win the majority of their remaining games — a scenario that would get them a ticket to March.
Even though I had to drop UConn a spot for their loss to Providence early in the week, I was impressed with the Huskies in their win over Xavier. RJ Cole came off the bench and went positively unconscious from 3, shooting 5-7 from range to make up the majority of his 24 points.
At this point, it looks like the Pirates are in prime position to sweep every Big East team but Nova, Creighton, and Providence. Now, I dont think they’ll do that, but it’s hard to imagine this Seton Hall team doing worse than 2-3 to close out the season. Even still, I could see them doing better than that. Hall has an unbelievable starting 5 with an NBA-caliber PF that would be a center anywhere else.
Creighton has to get my team of the week award for their absolute dismantling of Villanova last week. The Bluejays just outhooped Nova for the back 3 quarters of the game, and Marcus Zegarowski had a performance that reminded me why he was the Big East preseason player of the year. He shot 7-9 and 3-9 from 2 and 3 respectively, and the team as a whole shot the lights out at a 59% clip. Insanity. Creighton is now a lock to make the tournament in my book, and they should be one in your’s too.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say what Creighton did to the wildcats saturday, while it was a well deserved victory, was also a lucky break. Villanova is still the best team in the Big East in my book. Now, they have a tough stretch coming up that culminates in Creighton again. If they lose to Creighton and another team, I may have no choice but to drop them a ranking.