BIG EAST Basketball Preview: Week 18

Dave Weaver-USA TODAY Sports

A week full of Senior Nights only means one thing: the season is over

This week will bring tears for many reasons. For seniors, it will mean it's their last game before the students and fans. For parents, it's the joy of seeing their children graduate and make the most of their lives. For the fans, it's the inability to let go of the great moments these fine student-athletes have given. For DePaul fans, it's because they're DePaul fans.

Villanova Wildcats

Thursday 7:00pm @ Xavier Musketeers

FS1

Can't see the haters; sole possession of first place is back.

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The Musketeers will be honoring 4 seniors during their Senior Night ceremonies. Xavier's previous home game was a HUGE win over then-9th-ranked Creighton. Xavier is much stronger at home; they are 7-1 with their only loss coming against Seton Hall (had to put that in there). The last time out, Villanova held the Musketeers to 58 points, and Semaj Christon was held to 6-15 shooting. Each Villanova starter also had at least 3 rebounds and 3 assists in the contest. Similar play is all that's needed.

Saturday 2:00pm vs. Georgetown Hoyas

FS1

At this point, it's apparent that Georgetown needs an auto-bid to get into the NCAA Tournament.

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Markel Starks' emotions are not to scale of his real ones.

Him and D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera are very talented, but even with Jabril Trawick (which, by the way, is an awesome full name) they do not have enough of a balance. Last season, Georgetown played Villanova at Wells Fargo over Spring Break, and G'Town lost being ranked 5 at the time; little bench production means it lays all on the guards. So long as Villanova can contain the backcourt, a season sweep is in order.

Creighton Bluejays

Tuesday 7:00pm @ Georgetown Hoyas

FS1

How's second place taste?

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Georgetown has the privilege of facing Creighton on Senior Night, and they finish their season playing the top 2 Big East teams, both of whom ranked. Against Xavier, Ethan Wragge was caught setting screens and NOT staying outside the arc. It's obvious that he's not the best at post play, and keeping him in the paint is where he is most uncomfortable despite being a 6-7 senior.

Saturday 8:00pm vs. Providence Friars

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LOL no one's going to be able to watch their Senior Night even though it's the most special because it's on CBS Sports Network. Four of the starting five will be honored on Saturday Night, including the bae Doug McDermott. The energy in the building will be incredulous. I do not see a world where Creighton loses this and misses out on going undefeated at home.

Xavier Musketeers

Monday 7:00pm @ Seton Hall Pirates

FS1

Fuquan Edwin is still hurt, this time his finger. This team lost to St. Peter's Peacocks and Fairleigh Dickinson Knights without him. Xavier just beat Creighton. They're fine.

Thursday 7:00pm vs. Villanova Wildcats

FS1

In both Creighton losses, the Bluejays shot 400% from the field, and against Syracuse the 3's did not fall. I still stand by that for Villanova; they live and die by the 3. Look at the Butler game not one week ago- they started 2-12 but luckily Butler was worse. Having Matt Stainbrook clog the middle and having Villanova take those long contested jumpers is their only hope of stealing yet another top 10 win at home.

Providence Friars

Tuesday 9:00pm vs. Marquette Golden Eagles

FS1

Four Friars will be recognized on this night, most importantly Bryce Cotton. Tyler Harris has been a great spark for the team as of late, and I can see him racking up some fouls on Davante Gardner. Another issue the Friars can exploit in their 3-point shooting. The Golden Eagles rank last in the Big East at 32.1%. I'm a big proponent of "special wins" like when someone's number is retired, so I see Providence winning this one.

Saturday 8:00pm @ Creighton Bluejays

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LaDontae Henton and Kadeem Batts need to make a lot of noise down low. MAX volume kind of noise. Even with that, "special wins." Sorry Friars, but Creighton will be taking this one with stride.

Marquette Golden Eagles

Tuesday 9:00pm @ Providence Friars

FS1

This team has amazed me all year. They have Gardner, a 6-8, 290 lbs man. They have Chris Otule, a 6-11, 275 lbs 6th year senior. It's shocking how much the loss of Vander Blue has affected this team. Right now, they're like the St. John's of December; everyone knew they were good, they just couldn't put it together. For Marquette, there just isn't time for the Red Storm turnaround. Again, if they just stay down low, I'm not sure if many people in the WORLD can stop Gardner, a close-to-7-foot-300-pound man, but it's not working.

Saturday 12:00pm vs. St. John's Red Storm

FS1

The classic battle of frontcourts. Gardner and Otule will be recognized, along with Jamil Wilson. Chris Obekpa is back to his usual form after missing a game with his ankle injury, and JaKarr Sampson is putting in solid time too. This will be a great game between teams who are around the bubble.

Side note: those players Marquette are losing really make me feel next year could be even rougher.

St. John's Red Storm

Saturday 12:00pm @ Marquette Golden Eagles

FS1

D`Angelo Harrison has been a great leader for this team in their recent success. Derrick Wilson of the Golden Eagles cannot possibly matchup. Marquette's size might be larger, however the Red Storm have the possibility of relying on guards more. These teams are very talented, but St. John's looks like they have it together.

Georgetown Hoyas

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Tuesday 4:00pm vs. Creighton Bluejays

FS1

Six seniors are currently on the Hoyas roster, one of whom is Mr. Smiles shown above. Like I mentioned in the Creighton dialog, Xavier gave the Bluejays problems in the paint. To put that to numbers, Creighton is the 3rd and 14th worst in the country in blocks and steals, respectively. This means, driving to the lane and BACKING DOWN IN THE POST- EVERYTHING IN THE PAINT- IS HOW TO LITERALLY DESTROY THIS TEAM'S HOPES. It's not like we've been saying this this whole time. OH WAIT WE HAVE. It's that easy, and Georgetown has the guards to do this themselves!

Saturday 2:00pm @ Villanova Wildcats

FS1

Villanova shoots 54.6% from within the arc. That's 2nd best in the Big East behind Creighton. The 'Cats shoot 4th best in the conference from BEYOND the arc at 35.9%, but that's with the most attempts. For the final time this year, I'm going to say FORCE THEM TO SHOOT 3'S.

Seton Hall Pirates

Monday 7:00pm vs. Xavier Musketeers

FS1

It's Senior Night for a few Pirates, but most importantly it's Fuquan. Unfortunately, his finger has been hurting and thus he may not even see the court, which is really sad. Sterling Gibbs is doing well taking up his points void, however the real key is Gene Teague vs. Matt Stainbrook. Guard play will only be a bonus in this one.

Saturday 4:30pm @ Butler Bulldogs

FS1

Seton Hall is the only Big East team this year to lose to both DePaul AND Butler.

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Senior Khyle Marshall will say goodbye at this one. There's a solid chance Fuquan is rested in this one in order to prepare for a miraculous run in the Big East Tournament. Butler is 1-7 at home this year. This game can get ugly. Do something else with your Saturday afternoon.

DePaul Blue Demons (not in last place!)

Thursday 9:00pm vs. Butler Bulldogs

FS1

Last week, DePaul won a game!

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It was against Seton Hall.

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It loses a lot of appeal there.

Brandon Young is the big name of Senior Night. At least DePaul fans have that going for them. It's been a rough outing, especially since the Cleveland Melvin leave. If I were a DePaul fan, I'd be happy to have the season over so a new beginning can emerge.

Butler Bulldogs

Thursday 9:00pm @ DePaul Blue Demons

FS1

I wonder which number will be bigger- the amount of people who watch this game on TV, or the number of Oscars Leonardo DiCaprio won (too soon?). This game decides who can hold off playing Creighton the longest.

Saturday 4:30pm vs. Seton Hall Pirates

FS1

The answer to "Is Fuquan playing?" and "Will Seton Hall win?" are the same.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

I hope everyone has enjoyed these Big East Previews this season. It forced me to watch a lot more games and take a much biggest interest in our conference. I had low hopes for the new Big East coming in, but my outlook is a lot brighter. Thanks for reading!

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