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Big East Standings, Schedules, Predictions, and Pick’em Contest (Week of 1/14)

May the best VU Hoopster win.

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Villanova Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Based on last week’s poll results, we will be bringing back to the weekly pick’em contest and play until the end of the regular season. It looks like I personally had to shake off the rust, because I only had three of seven games correctly predicted entering Sunday (boooooooooo!). We’ll see how the noon games shape out, but it wouldn’t have been a great start to the contest if we began last week. On the other hand, what a week of games it has been.

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 will have until the first game tips off on Tuesday to get your picks in, in order for all of them to count. Any late submission will result in the picks made for finished games or the ones in progress being forfeited, but the remaining ones after them will count. (The timestamps never lie!) For scoring and contest purposes, your most recent answer form will be used. Make sure you put your VU Hoops account name, so we know who’s who!

If you’re up to compete, flex your college basketball knowledge and foresight, game on! If not, this will continue to be your weekly standings update, schedule, games of the week guide, and prediction time.

This is a free contest, so may the best VU Hoopster win!

Big East Standings (Entering week of 1/14)

Big East Conf. W-L GB Conf. Win% W-L Overall Win% STRK
Big East Conf. W-L GB Conf. Win% W-L Overall Win% STRK
Villanova 4-0 -- 1 13-4 0.765 W5
Marquette 3-1 1 0.75 14-3 0.824 W3
Seton Hall 3-2 1.5 0.6 12-5 0.706 L1
Xavier 3-2 1.5 0.6 11-7 0.611 W2
Georgetown 2-2 2 0.5 12-5 0.706 W1
DePaul 2-2 2 0.5 10-5 0.667 W2
St. John's 2-3 2.5 0.4 14-3 0.824 L2
Butler 1-3 3 0.25 10-7 0.588 L2
Creighton 1-3 3 0.25 10-7 0.588 L3
Providence 0-3 3.5 0 10-6 0.625 L3

*Will update after Sunday’s games.

Game of the Week: DePaul at Seton Hall--Saturday, Jan. 19, at 8 p.m. ET on FS1

Yes, DePaul! After an 0-2 start to conference play, DePaul has evened things up with two exciting wins against Seton Hall and St. John’s. The Blue Demons are looking to make a statement and prove that they are no longer the Big East’s punching bag. The punchlines are dead for now. When you have a player like Max Strus and the ultra efficient Femi Olujobi, as well as veteran Eli Cain--DePaul has a solid core to work with. How much will this sustain, who knows?! However, I’m feeling confident in an intriguing rematch between the Blue Demons and the Pirates. The Pirates will have home court advantage, but it’s possible that the road win at a rowdy Carnesecca Arena could have given the Blue Demons some confidence. They’ve been competitive in their Big East games, even in losses. As for Seton Hall, it’s scraped out some tough wins and is great in the late-game, but slow starts have been their modus operandi so far in Big East play. It can’t afford to do that again against DePaul, and it’s no coincidence that a lot of that parallels Myles Powell’s play. He had just 16 points in the previous meeting between both teams and shot 4-of-13. Most of his damage came late. Seton Hall shouldn’t make that same mistake again, but this DePaul team has been turning some heads. My Pick: Seton Hall 77, DePaul 70

...and here’s two more:

Seton Hall at Providence--Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 6:30 p.m. ET on FS1

The Pirates, again? Looking at this one through a Providence lens. The Friars are winless to start Big East play. They’ve been competitive, but most recently suffered a double-overtime heartbreaker against Georgetown. A.J. Reeves, who was one of the Friars’ top scorers while only being a freshman, remains to be out with a foot injury. His original Dec. 11 diagnosis had him returning in four to six weeks, but recent news says he’ll be out even longer. Regardless, this won’t be an easy game to win for Seton Hall, despite Reeves’ ongoing absence and a winless Providence squad in conference play. Providence desperately needs him back, but this is also a Friar team that is even more desperate for a win. The one-man show vibe of Seton Hall, with Myles Powell singlehandedly generating the bulk of the offense (only Pirate averaging in double figures scoring), might make Providence’s defensive assignments easier than the scoring juggernaut Creighton, the balanced attack of Villanova, and the now diversified Georgetown offense. This might just be Providence’s first Big East win, but this will be a grinder. My Pick: Providence 68, Seton Hall 65

St. John’s at Butler--Saturday, Jan. 19, at 4:30 p.m. ET on FOX

With the way things are shaping out, this could very well end up being a pivotal must-win game for the Johnnies, and they’ll have to do it in one of the toughest places for road teams to play in the Big East--Hinkle Fieldhouse. After a shocking loss to DePaul, St. John’s is now 2-3 heading into the week in conference play. With Shamorie Ponds listed as day-to-day with a lower back injury, although he might not be back in time for Tuesday’s game with Creighton, there’s a strong chance he’s on for Butler, especially if the Red Storm drop that game with the Bluejays. Based on some expert analysis and a couple of St. John’s beat writers, the Johnnies can’t afford to lose more than six Big East games, thanks to their cushy non-conference schedule. St. John’s could possibly looking at already having five Big East losses after the end of this upcoming week, and the schedule doesn’t get easier for them after that. Can the Johnnies prove they’re still for real with a big road win, or are we looking at deja vu of last year? Will Shamorie come to the rescue? My Pick: Butler 72, St. John’s 69

The schedule of other Big East games this week, all times ET:

Tuesday, January 15
Marquette at Georgetown, at 8:30 p.m. on FS1

Wednesday, January 16
Creighton at St. John’s, at 6:30 p.m. on FS1
Butler at DePaul, at 8:30 p.m. on FS1

Friday, January 18
Xavier at Villanova, at 8:30 p.m. on FS1

Sunday, January 20
Providence at Marquette, at 12 p.m. on CBS Sports Network

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