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Big East Standings, Schedule, and Pick’em Contest (Week of 1/1)

Your weekly look at the Big East slate this week. Get those picks in by Tuesday night’s games!

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Marquette Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Happy New Year, 'Nova Nation! We're expecting some shuffling of the top 25 polls and this post will be updated later to reflect the new rankings once they are released. Each week, we will take a look at the standings, preview some of the key matchups of the week, and continue with our pick'em contest.

The rules are simple, just pick who think will win each of the games from this week using this link. We'll keep a cumulative score of your predictions and release them each week, whoever gets the most number of correct picks at the end of the season wins a prize! You have until the first game tips off on Tuesday night (before the Butler/Xavier game tips off) to get your picks in, in order for all of them to count. Any late submissions will result in the picks made for finished games or the ones in progress being forfeited, but the remaining ones after them will count. For scoring and contest purposes, your most recent answer form will be used.

It's one point for every correct answer and whoever has the most points at the end of the regular season, wins!

Not a single person was able to correctly guess the outcomes for the first 10 games of the season, but maybe we’ll see a perfect sheet this week. Here is the complete scoreboard and everyone's picks from the first set of games.

Here is a look at the standings:

#5 Xavier (14-1, 2-0)
Butler (12-3, 2-0)
#21 Seton Hall (13-2, 2-0)
#3 Villanova (13-1, 1-1)
Creighton (11-3, 1-1)
Marquette (10-4, 1-1)
Providence (10-5, 1-1)
Georgetown (10-3, 0-2)
St. John's (10-4, 0-2)
DePaul (7-7, 0-2)

The games to watch for this week:

Game of the Week: Butler at #5 Xavier--Tuesday, Jan. 2, at 7 p.m. on FS1

If Butler wants to prove if it's for real, it'll have the fun task of going into the Cintas Center to play another Top-5 team and one of the better teams in the conference in Xavier. The Bulldogs' previous shooting performance against the former top-ranked Villanova Wildcats seems like a fluke--15-of-22 from deep (68.2 percent), 60.0 percent overall on the floor, and a 101-point game--for a team that was just slightly below average when it came to shooting the three-ball. This was a team that needed a comeback and a double-overtime to beat the Georgetown Hoyas, but then left little doubt against Villanova. Maybe the win was the start of something special for Kelan Martin, Kamar Baldwin, Paul Jorgensen, and Co.? On the other end, Xavier only has one loss this season, but the Musketeers haven't looked that stellar as of late. Four of their last five games have been a bit too close for comfort--a last-second comeback effort against ETSU, a four-point win against Marshall, barely outlasting Marquette in a shootout, and survival of a DePaul scare. Xavier has the recipe for success: a star player and scoring machine in Trevon Bluiett, the partner-in-crime in J.P. Macura, and quality players around him in the starting five and on the bench. Not sure that the Bulldogs will replicate similar shooting numbers as Saturday, but I do feel an upset brewing. My Pick: Butler 81, Xavier 76

And here's two more...

Marquette at Providence--Wednesday, Jan. 3, at 6:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network

Two teams in the middle of the Big East, both coming in with similar records. The Marquette Golden Eagles have the luxury of having the top two scorers in the Big East--Andrew Rowsey, the conference's leading scorer with 22.4 points per game and Markus Howard, who averages just over 20 a game. These are two prolific weapons that can score at a high clip, elevating their play in their second year at Marquette. Rowsey, a redshirt senior now, after transferring in from UNC Asheville a few years back, and Howard, a sophomore. Together--along with Sam Hauser--they lead a sharpshooting Marquette squad that's among one of the best in the country, converting on 40.6 percent of shots from deep (18th in the country). They'll be up against a team that defends the three-point line very well. Providence has held opponents to just 30.3 percent from long range (27th in the country). As good as Marquette is offensively and when it comes to shooting the ball, there are some questions with the team, particularly surrounding its defense and frontcourt. As a result, this could potentially be another big game for the Friars' freshman center Nate Watson, who had 20 points against Creighton in Providence's previous outing. Meanwhile, Kyron Cartwright was a no-show against the Bluejays, but he'll most likely turn things around, as the Friars will be enjoying a home win in the comfort of the Dunkin Donuts Center. My Pick: Providence 75, Marquette 70.

#21 Seton Hall at Butler--Saturday, Jan. 6, at 2:30 p.m. on FS1

The Pirates have had some really good wins--downing top 25-ranked Texas Tech at Madison Square Garden and going on the road to beat Louisville, a team that doesn't lose non-conference home games all that often--as well as some really bad, head-scratching losses such as Rhode Island and Rutgers. Seton Hall is undefeated to begin conference play and will have its first Big East road game for the 2017-18 season, and it'll be a tough one. Hinkle Fieldhouse is not an easy place to play in, as we've been reminded. However, the Pirates were left unfazed from Hinkle Magic in their previous trip to Indianapolis, when they closed out the 2016-17 season against Butler. Their core trio of Khadeen Carrington, Desi Rodriguez, and Angel Delgado combined for 58 of the team's 70 points in the upset win over Butler. Add a much more developed Myles Powell into the equation and the Pirates look even better than last year. The Pirates seem to get up for the big games, but opponents might be able to catch them napping in the not-as-big games. Butler won't be coming in under-the-radar, so I expect Seton Hall's best. As for the Bulldogs, this game will close out a tough three-game stretch with the top teams in the conference. It secured one of those key wins against 'Nova, but to remain undefeated in Big East play after Xavier and this one--would be impressive, but unlikely. A well-rested team of Pirates come into Hinkle and squeeze one out against a Butler squad that's worn out from the last two games. My Pick: Seton Hall 71, Butler 68

The rest of the Big East games this week:

Tuesday, January 2
Georgetown at DePaul, 9 p.m. on FS1

Wednesday, January 3
St. John's at Creighton, 8 p.m. on FS1

Saturday, January 6
Creighton at Georgetown, 12 p.m. on FOX
#5 Xavier at Providence, 12 p.m. on FOX
DePaul at St. John's, 2 p.m.
Marquette at #3 Villanova, 8 p.m. on FS1

Quick Picks for the last six games (in order as above):

St. John's