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Big East Standings, Schedules, Predictions, and Pick’em Contest? (Week of 1/7)

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Returned from vacation to bring this weekly series back, but are people game for the second annual Pick’em contest? Let’s vote.

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at St. John Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Missed the first full week of Big East play due to holiday travel, but we’re back in action. It’s been an interesting start to conference play so far, and in what should be a wide-open competition for the top spots in the Big East, it looks like we’re in for a fun ride.

Each week, I’ll be checking in with conference standings, the weekly slate of Big East games, some key matchups of the week, and possibly our pick’em contest?

I’ll leave it to you guys! Our photographer and writer Ryan Bowman probably wants to defend his crown, but there was a tight race for the top. (For reference: last year’s results/scoreboard.) If you’re interested in playing again this year, vote in the poll, let us know! We can get it started next week, and we’ll have about 8 weeks to play.

It’ll be a free contest, no purchase necessary. The rules would be simple, each week just pick who you think will win each of the games. 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 would have until the first game tips off each week 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 games will count. (The database has timestamps, so we’ll know!). It’s one point for every correct answer, and whoever has the most points at the end of the regular season, wins!

If you’re up to compete, flex your college basketball knowledge and foresight, vote in the poll and let us know! If we can get a good crowd going, we’ll play. If you missed it last year, and would like an example of what these weekly posts look like, here’s what it looked like going into the last week of our contest.

Poll

Are you interested in bringing back the weekly Big East Pick’em Contest, and would like to participate?

This poll is closed

  • 74%
    UH, YES. I’d love to show off my knowledge against the staff and other VU Hoopsters.
    (128 votes)
  • 25%
    No thanks, I’m cool with just reading articles and lurking on the site.
    (44 votes)
172 votes total Vote Now

I did okay last year, tied for sixth, went 65-28, and got 69.89% of picks right, but I’m hoping for a shot at redemption! With the seemingly unpredictable nature of the Big East thus far, it could be pretty fun. Before I offer my games of the week and some predictions, here are the standings:

Big East Standings (Entering Week of 1/7)

Team Name Big East Record GB Conf. Win% Overall Record Overall Win% Current Streak
Team Name Big East Record GB Conf. Win% Overall Record Overall Win% Current Streak
Villanova 2-0 -- 1 11-4 0.733 W3
Seton Hall 2-1 0.5 0.667 11-4 0.733 L1
St. John's 2-1 0.5 0.667 14-1 0.933 W2
Georgetown 1-1 1 0.5 11-4 0.733 L1
Butler 1-1 1 0.5 10-5 0.667 W1
Marquette 1-1 1 0.5 12-3 0.8 W1
Creighton 1-1 1 0.5 10-5 0.667 L1
Xavier 1-2 1.5 0.333 9-7 0.563 L2
DePaul 1-2 1.5 0.333 9-5 0.643 W1
Providence 0-2 2 0 10-5 0.667 L2

Game of the Week: St. John’s at Villanova—Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m. ET on FS1

What a way to start the week—it’s the defending National and Conference champs against the trendy up-and-coming Red Storm. It’s a battle between the top-scoring offense in the Big East (St. John’s, 84.7 points per game) and the top-scoring defense in the conference (Villanova, 65.7 points per game allowed). We saw what Villanova can do against a team that features many athletic guards and runs a fast-paced offense in UConn. It dominated the second half, but putting aside that dominant, decisive run, it was a really close game. The Wildcats and the Johnnies split the season series last year. I’m sticking to my pre-season gut and think the same will happen this year. ‘Nova will lose in a quiet Pavilion while the students are still away at break, but it’ll get its revenge in February at Madison Square Garden. I think a hungry Red Storm—which is no longer a one-man Shamorie Ponds show—will edge out a close battle at the Finn. The Red Storm are coming in hot, with five different players averaging at least 10 points per game. The key this time around is that Marvin Clark has turned a corner offensively at the beginning of December, and Justin Simon has proven to be a lockdown defender, shutting down the likes of Markus Howard and Myles Powell in back-to-back games. My Pick: St. John’s 71, Villanova 67


...and here’s two more to watch for:

Seton Hall at Marquette—Saturday, Jan. 12, at 2 p.m. ET on FS1

I’d be remiss to not have the duel between the two top scorers in the Big East on here. Marquette’s Markus Howard (23.9 points per game) vs. Seton Hall’s Myles Powell (22.6 points per game). These two junior guards are complete game-changers for their respective teams. Howard has the ability to off at any moment and is a complete threat once he starts heating up, he has also taken up the role as the team’s point guard. Powell is an excellent scorer in his own right, but he’s really shined in clutch moments. He’s hit big shot after big shot in closing minutes of the Pirates’ games. He can have a quiet night, until suddenly taking over when his team needs it most. I’m going Team Howard and the Golden Eagles here. The Golden Eagles are a completely different team at home and seem to play differently than their lackluster road/neutral game selves. Aside from that, this might be Wojo’s best defensive team, they’ve reinvented themselves on that end of the court. I predict they’ll stay undefeated and improve to 12-0 at home, the Fiserv Forum has been magical so far. My Pick: Marquette 80, Seton Hall 71

Providence at Georgetown—Saturday, Jan. 12, at 12 p.m. ET on FS1

The Friars are searching for their first Big East win. They are 3-2 since it was announced that A.J. Reeves would miss 4-6 weeks due to a foot injury. Most recently, they’ve lost back-to-back games, and their struggling offense has some Friar fans praying for a quick return for Reeves. With a week off in between last Saturday’s ‘Nova game and this Georgetown game, it’ll give Ed Cooley and his staff a chance to reassess the situation. It will be about a month since the news was broken, and up until that point, A.J. Reeves was making a great case for Big East Freshman of the Year. The Friars swept Georgetown in the regular season series last year, but both games were an absolute dogfight. This might be the year that Georgetown changes that narrative and emerges with a win. Jessie Govan has continued his strong play, but its the freshmen that have been welcome surprises in the immediate impact they’ve had on the Hoyas’ season. James Akinjo is a dynamite guard that has flashed great potential thus far, while forward Josh LeBlanc is shooting 67.9 percent on the floor and is almost averaging a double-double. My Pick: Georgetown 71, Providence 68


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

Wednesday, January 9
Georgetown at Xavier, 6:30 p.m. on FS1
Marquette at Creighton, 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
Butler at Seton Hall, 8:30 p.m. on FS1

Saturday, January 12
DePaul at St. John’s, 6 p.m. on CBS Sports Network

Sunday, January 13
Butler at Xavier, 12 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
Villanova at Creighton, 12 p.m. on FOX


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

Georgetown
Creighton
Seton Hall
St. John’s
Butler
Villanova