Hey Everyone, It’s me again back with another Big East Power ranking update. This week, I thought I would try something new and give each team an emoji based on their lock index: a highly statistical and rigorous representation of their chances to make the tournament. Each team’s lock index is correlated with an emoji. Now without any further ado, here are your rankings.
Depaul did it. They really did it. To the shock and awe of all, the Blue Demons won a game against a hot St. John’s team, and actually controlled the score most of the game. The way DePaul did this was in their defense: they were able to neutralize St. Johns in the paint and forced them into long-range.
Now. DePaul may have won a singular game, but I’m still not impressed with Leitao’s men. They committed 24 turnovers — 30% of their possessions ended in a turnover — and that fact makes me want to categorize this game as a St. John’s loss, not a DePaul win.
Lock Index: DePaul’s lock index is so low, it cannot be represented by any emoji in current existence.
Butler hasn’t exactly had a great run since we last saw them, losing by 16 to Marquette and by 12 at Xavier. That said, they’re out 3 starters, and I don’t see them doing anything crazy considering their next 3 games are against a gauntlet of the best the Big East has to offer.
Lock Index = 🥶 Cold streak alert.
Providence may have been able to beat UConn the other week, but since the Huskies got back James Bouknight, it was a different story last Tuesday. The Huskies smoked the Friars 73-61. They play Xavier, St. Johns, and then Villanova. 0-3 at best.
Lock index = 🥱 I can’t see them making the tournament.
Marquette desperately needed a win against Butler Wednesday, and they got one. Redshirt junior Greg Elliot made the most of his promotion to starter and scored 17 points, and the rest of the team did their duty in the field goal department, shooting 44%, and also from the free throw line, where they shot 89% on and absurd 27 trips to the stripe. This game wasn’t nearly as close as the score suggests, as both teams put in their scrubs to finish out the second half.
Lock Index = 💰 They play UNC this week. Enough Said.
Finally. Just in time, it seems as if the Hoyas are picking up steam. Don’t get me wrong — they have zero chance to make the tournament. That said, I really liked what I saw again Seton Hall Saturday. Even though usually strong contributor Jahvon Blair had a down night of only 3 points, they still convincingly beat the pirates on strong efforts from Jamorko Pickett, Dante Harris and Chudier Bile. Dante is the only one of those three that will play next year, and I’m excited to have him as PG for the foreseeable future.
Lock Index = ⁉️ Something is happening on the hilltop.
St. John’s (8-8)
For a second there, I really thought St. Johns was going to get hot and make a run for the tourney, but their March hopes ended with their loss against DePaul. They were already on the wrong side of the bubble, and unless they can do something magical and win out their season (@Villanova, then vs. Providence and Seton Hall) I don’t see much hope for the johnnies. Like I said before, DePaul gave up 24 turnovers, which is the basketball equivalent of failing a math test because you were too busy daydreaming about the girl across the classroom. You just can’t be more sloppy and unfocused than that.
Lock Index = 💩 For Losing to DePaul.
Seton Hall (10-6)
I had to drop the Pirates after their loss to Georgetown Saturday night. They looked like they were about to hit critical mass and win out for a second there, but Georgetown was able to stop them in their tracks. This loss does not bode well for their tournament hopes, even though I believe that they will have to win their last 3 for an all expenses-paid trip to Indiana. Butler and Marquette should be an easy task, but UConn with James Bouknight reaching full form, they have their work cut out for them.
Lock Index = 📉 on the way down and out of the bubble if the Pirates can’t right the ship.
In a pretty unremarkable yet convincing win over Butler Sunday, Xavier beat Butler by 12 points. Xavier needed this win to keep their tournament hopes alive. Even after Joe Lunardi’s update, Xavier occupies one of the last four bye games.
The highlight of what was otherwise a very forgettable game was redshirt junior Colby Jones, who put up 13 and 11 in a rare start that I think will become much more common down the stretch. If he continues to play like he did in this game, and the Musketeers improve their rebounding, then they should in the tournament provided they win 3 of their next four games.
Lock Index = 📈 Things are on the up for the Musketeers. $XAV to the moon.
I’ve said it every week since he’s been off the injury list, but I’ll say it again: watching James Bouknight is a hell of a lot of fun. When the Huskies handled the friars, he put up 18 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists, and then against Villanova he turned it up a notch for 21, 10, and 1. At this point I would be very surprised if UConn didn’t make the tourney, even though Lunardi has them as the first team out. I think that their last four games are eminently winnable, and if Bouknight keeps playing at the same clip, the tournament is theirs to make.
Lock Index = 🔓 unlocked lock. Just close it out and you’re set.
#13 Creighton (12-4)
Creighton hasn’t played since we last checked in, and they’re not in covid purgatory either. That means that they’ll have rest coming out the gate to steamroll depaul before they use Ryan Kalkbrenner to dominate the boards against Xavier and control the paint.
Barring calamity, I’d say they’re a strong lock for the tourney.
Lock index = 🔒 Lock.
#8 Villanova (9-2)
Though they may not be #3 in the country like early on in the country, but the wildcats still hold the Big East in a chokehold. They shook off their loss against Creighton with gusto, and Colin Gillespie, the college point guard to end all college point guards, turned up to earn himself a spot on the Big East Honor Roll and a the designation of Cousy Award finalist. if you need any further proof, consider the following.
At this point, I don’t think there’s anything that could stop Villanova from making the tournament short of an asteroid touching down in southeast Pennsylvania.
Lock index = ❄️🔒❄️ The frosty lock.