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Big East Standings, Schedule, Predictions, and Weekly Pick’em Contest (Week of 1/28)

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So many games...

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

IT’S GAME DAY. It’s also Sunday, so it’s time to check the Big East standings, take a peek at the upcoming games around the conference, offer a few predictions, and continue our pick’em contest.

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 Wednesday (~extra day~) 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!

This is a free contest. May the best VU Hoopster win!

Here is a complete scoreboard and everyone’s picks from last week. (Will update after Sunday’s games.)


Big East Standings (Entering 1/28/19)

Team Name Conf. W-L GB Conf. Win% Overall W-L Overall Win% STRK
Team Name Conf. W-L GB Conf. Win% Overall W-L Overall Win% STRK
Villanova 7-0 -- 1 16-4 0.8 W8
Marquette 7-1 0.5 0.875 18-3 0.857 W7
Georgetown 3-4 4 0.429 13-7 0.65 W1
Providence 3-4 4 0.429 13-7 0.65 W2
Creighton 3-4 4 0.429 12-8 0.6 W2
Seton Hall 3-5 4.5 0.375 12-8 0.6 L4
Xavier 3-5 4.5 0.375 11-10 0.524 L3
Butler 3-5 4.5 0.375 12-9 0.571 L2
DePaul 3-5 4.5 0.375 11-8 0.579 L2
St. John's 3-5 4.5 0.375 15-5 0.75 L2

Game of the Week: Georgetown at Villanova--Sunday, Feb. 3, at 12 p.m. ET on FS1

Rivalry renewed! The Wells Fargo Center will feature a fun Sunday matinee, as the Georgetown Hoyas pay the Villanova Wildcats a visit. The Wildcats might be behind in the all-time series, but it’s no secret that Villanova has dominated the rivalry since conference realignment. The ‘Cats have won 10 of 11 games against Georgetown, including eight-straight. Last season, ‘Nova took care of Georgetown without any issues, sweeping both regular season showdowns by a combined 56 points. This year, things should be more competitive. Georgetown is coming in with the second-highest scoring offense in the conference, averaging 83.1 points per game entering Sunday (just 0.4 behind the leading Creighton Bluejays.) Jessie Govan has developed into a reliable stretch big, one that’s averaging just under 20 points and nine rebounds. The Hoyas have become more than just a frontcourt team and have some dynamic freshmen in the backcourt, with Mac McClung and James Akinjo serving as great secondary options. There are some issues with the Hoyas in terms of defensive consistency. Regardless, while it will likely be closer, the ‘Cats should extend that winning streak over the Hoyas. My Pick: Villanova 81, Georgetown 71


...and here’s two more to watch for:

Marquette at Butler--Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 6:30 p.m. ET on FS1

The top scorer in the Big East, Markus Howard, and the Golden Eagles will prep for a tough road test, when they head into Hinkle Fieldhouse. Howard continues to produce at a high level, averaging 24.3 points per game. He and the Hauser brothers (Sam and Joey) are a trio of formidable sharpshooters, and the other guys might not get the spotlight, but they’re productive and boast a deep rotation. This isn’t the Marquette of old, its vastly improved on the defensive end--ranking among the top 50 in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom. However, Hinkle magic is Hinkle magic. The Bulldogs are better than their record suggests, and as we all know--they play a lot better at home. On the other hand, Marquette isn’t that great outside the Fiserv Forum. I’m not fully bought in on Marquette until it gets comfortable winning outside of its home arena. The Golden Eagles are 14-0 at home, but 4-3 outside of it. Their losses haven’t been pretty--lopsided defeats to St. John’s and Indiana, and then a second half collapse to Kansas. In their road and neutral wins, they’ve survived with narrow margins settled by no more than five points. A win at Butler might convince me otherwise, but I think it’ll be upset special in Indianapolis. My Pick: Butler 72, Marquette 70


St. John’s at Duke--Saturday, Feb. 2, at 12 p.m. ET on ESPN

This was quite the game last season at Madison Square Garden, where the Johnnies were able to defy the odds and break an 11-game losing streak in a thrilling victory. In front of a mostly pro-Duke crowd, St. John’s left the Blue Devils bitter as they left with a loss. Now, the series heads to Durham, N.C. Some of the faces have changed, but Duke has replenished with top-tier freshmen, probably more talented than last year’s bunch. St. John’s will be the underdogs again. Can Shamorie Ponds carry the Red Storm to victory again? He’s got a better supporting cast, but will they topple the three-headed Cerberus of Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, and Cameron Reddish? Last year, I had an eerie feeling of chaos at the Garden. This time, I’m not feeling anything, but there shouldn’t be a shortage of flashy plays between both teams. My Pick: Duke 84, St. John’s 72


Here are the rest of the games coming up this week, all times ET:

Wednesday, January 30
Providence at Seton Hall, at 7 p.m. on TBA
Villanova at DePaul, at 8 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
St. John’s at Creighton, 8:30 p.m. on FS1

Thursday, January 31
Xavier at Georgetown, at 8 p.m. on CBS Sports Network

Saturday, February 2
Seton Hall at Butler, at 12 p.m. on FS1
Providence at DePaul, at 2:30 p.m. on FS1

Sunday, February 3
Xavier at Creighton, at 1 p.m. on TBA


Quick picks for the last seven games (in order as above):

Seton Hall
Villanova
St. John’s
Georgetown
Butler
DePaul
Creighton