With the Big East doubleheader taking place on tomorrow on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, this weekly post is out a bit earlier than usual, so you can have some time to send in your picks before Monday’s games, as well as browse the action taking place around the conference and take a look at the standings entering this week.
The rules are simple, just pick who you 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 Monday afternoon 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!
For the first time ever, we have perfectly predicted submissions--six of them. We also have a new leader, with Ryan Bowman and stuckin NC tied for first in a tight race at the top. tpstone, who led for the first two weeks is right behind them in a second place tie.
Here are the standings:
#1 Villanova (16-1, 4-1)
#13 Seton Hall (15-3, 4-1)
#10 Xavier (16-3, 4-2)
#25 Creighton (14-4, 4-2)
Providence (12-6, 3-2)
Butler (13-6, 3-3)
Marquette (12-6, 3-3)
Georgetown (12-5, 2-4)
DePaul (8-9, 1-4)
St. John’s (10-8, 0-6)
Game of the Week: #10 Xavier at #13 Seton Hall--Saturday, Jan. 20, at 2:30 p.m. on FOX
A big game of Big East heavyweights and contenders looking to knock Villanova off the top. Xavier and Seton Hall will get to see how they measure up against one another in their first meeting this season. Xavier bounced back, after losing back-to-back games to Providence and Villanova, with a big win against Creighton. Trevon Bluiett returned to form with a 24-point game that included five 3-pointers. While his partner in crime J.P. Macura was relatively quiet, he was one of six Musketeers to hit double figures. This is a deep team that has a high-caliber player like Bluiett at the top. As for Seton Hall, there’s its ‘Core Four’ of Desi Rodriguez, Angel Delgado, Khadeen Carrington, and Myles Powell leading the way. There isn’t much bench help, but these four are dynamic. The Pirates seem to play up or down to their competition, and they won’t be sleepwalking for a showdown with the Musketeers on their home floor. Seton Hall has yet to lose at The Rock, while Xavier has yet to win a Big East game on the road. The Pirates defend home court in this one. My Pick: Seton Hall 83, Xavier 79
...and here’s two more to watch for:
#13 Seton Hall at #25 Creighton--Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 8:30 p.m. on FS1
These two teams met to open Big East play earlier in the season, with the Pirates coming back from an 11-point halftime deficit to win 90-84. This time around, they will meet at the CenturyLink Center, where the Bluejays have yet to lose this season--boasting a 12-0 record at home. The Bluejays will look to do a better job against Seton Hall’s ‘Core Four,’ who combined for 76 of Seton Hall’s 90 points in the Dec. 28 win against them. On the other hand, Marcus Foster and Khyri Thomas can’t be contained again. The leading tandem combined for 27 points, but shot 12-of-32 on the floor. The ‘Jays needed a career performance from Martin Krampelj to stay in it. It’s hard to envision the Bluejays shooting 20 percent from beyond the arc again. They had a big letdown in the second half, but I think this time they finish the job. Seton Hall will have to prepare for this tough road game before hosting Xavier. My Pick: Creighton 86, Seton Hall 80
#1 Villanova at Connecticut--Saturday, Jan. 20, at 12 p.m. on CBS
It’s a rematch that’s four years in the making--the first time these former Big East foes will meet since the 2014 NCAA Tournament Round of 32 matchup, when Shabazz Napier led the Huskies to an upset victory over the ‘Cats and then ultimately, a National Championship. The last batch of Wildcats and Huskies from that game have since graduated, doing so last season. Saturday’s game between Villanova and UConn marks the first part of a three-year series. Next season, they will meet at Madison Square Garden, and then the final game will be played at the Wells Fargo Center. This game is a bit of a homecoming for Omari Spellman and Eric Paschall, both whom played some of their high school ball at nearby St. Thomas More. Expect a battle between two premier point guards and Jalens--Brunson and Adams. Adams leads the Huskies in nearly every category--points, rebounds, assists, and steals. Helping him out is Terry Larrier, a VCU transfer that’s finally healthy and contributing. He was one of UConn’s top players last season, before going down with a season-ending injury. Regardless, the Huskies struggle offensively (323rd in eFG%), and the Wildcats have more weapons for them to worry about. My Pick: Villanova 82, UConn, 67
Monday, January 15
Butler at Providence, 4:30 p.m. on FS1
DePaul at Marquette, 9 p.m. on FS1
Wednesday, January 17
#1 Villanova at Georgetown, 6:30 p.m. on FS1
St. John’s at #10 Xavier, 8:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
Saturday, January 20
St. John’s at Georgetown, 12 p.m. on FS1
Butler at DePaul, 2 p.m. on FS1
#25 Creighton at Providence, 3 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
Quick picks for the last seven games (in order as above):