Congrats to Eagles fans! While you’re all recovering (or still celebrating) here is your weekly look at the standings, the schedule of Big East games, some of the key matchups this week (key matchups might be a stretch), and a continuation of our pick’em contest. This post will be updated later to reflect the new rankings, once they are released this afternoon.
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 Tuesday night 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!
Shoutout to willyannan for having the only perfect submission last week, and another shoutout to Ryan Bowman, who is now the sole leader. He has correctly guessed 46-of-55 games correctly, but he holds just a one-point lead over second. As promised, everyone got a free point since I forgot to add one of the games.
Here are the standings:
#1 Villanova (22-1, 9-1)
#6 Xavier (21-3, 9-2)
Creighton (17-6, 7-4)
Butler (17-7, 7-4)
Seton Hall (17-6, 6-4)
Providence (15-8, 6-4)
Marquette (13-10, 4-7)
Georgetown (13-9, 3-8)
DePaul (9-13, 2-8)
St. John’s (11-13, 0-11)
Game of the Week: Butler at #1 Villanova--Saturday, Feb. 10, at 12 p.m. on FOX
The theme between these games to watch for is ‘revenge.’ Butler has been the only team to beat Villanova this season, chasing the Wildcats out of Hinkle Fieldhouse as they dropped triple digits and shot the lights out. Since then, the Bulldogs haven’t had a performance that came close to that. The key players remain the same for Butler--Kamar Baldwin and Kelan Martin. Martin is one of the top scorers in the conference, averaging a touch below 20 per game. Baldwin has given Villanova fits in the three times he’s played against the ‘Cats throughout his career, being an all-around player that contributes on both ends of the court. However, the X-Factor, the one that played a huge role in Butler’s upset win--and if it can repeat it again on Saturday--is Paul Jorgensen. He had 23 points in the win against Villanova, but he’s cooled off big-time since that hot streak he was on earlier in the season. The Wildcats did not look that good at Hinkle until midway through the second half, when they started putting together a last-minute rally. Martin and Baldwin will likely get theirs, but I don’t seen Jorgensen doing it again. Villanova is at home now, so it should be easy to pick the ‘Cats right? This is an eerily similar situation as last season, and even then I felt “No worries, the Wildcats will get back at them at home.” This time, it’s for real. The Wildcats won’t drop their fourth straight meeting with the Bulldogs. My Pick: Villanova 82, Butler 70
....and here’s two more to watch for:
Marquette at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. on FS1--Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. on FS1
As Angel Delgado said about Marquette last month, “When they come here, they’re going to see the real Seton Hall.” The Pirates got stomped on by the Golden Eagles in Milwaukee, losing by 20 on the road. As the Pirates have shown, their play seems to vary by opponent. The tough opponents will receive their full attention, while the lesser teams might get slept on. The Pirates are looking to rebound from a loss to ‘Nova. They were in the game for about three-fourths of the way through, until the ‘Cats pulled away. Meanwhile, Marquette is looking for that winning feeling again. The Golden Eagles have a four-game losing streak. In that loss, Seton Hall’s ‘Core Four’ of Delgado, Myles Powell, Khadeen Carrington, and Desi Rodriguez combined for just 37 points, well below their average of 59 per game. Carrington and Powell barely made an impact in that game, but it’s hard to count them out again. No one seemed to shoot the ball well in that loss, and they succumbed to the wrath of Andrew Rowsey. Despite the play of Rowsey and Markus Howard, Marquette has been sliding downwards and doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. The Pirates get their rebound, while the Golden Eagles keep searching. Predicting a big game for Delgado inside and Rodriguez--two players that were inefficient against Marquette, despite leading Seton Hall in scoring. My Pick: Seton Hall 79, Marquette 69
#6 Xavier at Creighton--Saturday, Feb. 10, at 2:30 p.m. on FOX
Xavier demolished Creighton when the Bluejays came to the Cintas Center earlier this season. However, the CenturyLink Center in Omaha is a special place. Winning games on the road in the Big East isn’t an easy task, especially when it comes to the Bluejays’ home arena. So far this season, Creighton, Xavier, and Villanova are the only teams to have never lost a game at home. Those are just three of the tougher places to play in and their home records back that up. Marcus Foster has been playing extremely well as of late, with five-straight 20-point games. He should be able to stretch that out to seven--with DePaul, then Xavier this week. The Musketeers would love to repeat their lopsided win again, as they had six different players in double figures in their last game against Creighton. However, Xavier has looked vulnerable last week. St. John’s was toe-to-toe with them and Georgetown seemingly had the game in the bag, until the Hoyas fouled Musketeer star Trevon Bluiett for a four-point play to tie the game and bring it in overtime. Bluiett and J.P. Macura will be the guys that Creighton should key on, as well as Kerem Kanter, who shouldn’t surprise anyone anymore as a solid contributor. Xavier has played well so far in conference play, but it finally gets caught. Once again, it’ll be on the road, as the Bluejays won’t let them drop 50 points in a single half this time around. My Pick: Creighton 78, Xavier 76
Tuesday, February 6
#6 Xavier at Butler, 6:30 p.m. on FS1
Georgetown at Providence, 8:30 p.m. on FS1
Wednesday, February 7
St. John’s at #1 Villanova, 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
Creighton at DePaul, 9 p.m. on FS1
Saturday, February 10
Marquette at St. John’s, 12 p.m. on FSN
Seton Hall at Georgetown, 4 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
DePaul at Providence, 4 p.m. on FSN
Quick picks for the last six games (in order as above):