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Big East Standings, Schedule, Predictions, and Weekly Pick’em Contest (Week of 2/11)

NCAA Basketball: St. John at Villanova Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

There were four games that really shook up our pick’em contest, as well as the Big East Conference this past week. A vast majority of participants incorrectly guessed the Marquette-St. John’s and the St. John’s-Providence games. There were also the Butler-Georgetown and Villanova-Marquette games. So no perfect picks! This upcoming week should be an intriguing one as well with a few either-or matchups that are pretty close.

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!

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

Here is a complete scoreboard and everyone’s picks from last week.

Big East Standings (Entering Week of 2/11)

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 10-1 -- 0.909 19-5 0.792 L1
Marquette 9-2 1 0.818 20-4 0.833 W1
Butler 5-6 5 0.455 14-10 0.583 W2
St. John's 5-6 5 0.455 17-7 0.708 L1
DePaul 5-6 5 0.455 13-9 0.591 W2
Georgetown 5-6 5 0.455 15-9 0.625 L1
Seton Hall 5-6 5 0.455 14-9 0.609 W1
Creighton 4-7 6 0.364 13-11 0.542 L2
Providence 4-7 6 0.364 14-10 0.583 W1
Xavier 3-8 7 0.273 11-13 0.458 L6

Game of the Week: Villanova at St. John’s--Sunday, February 17, at 5 p.m. ET on FS1

This should be a solid rematch, after a pretty good first meeting between both teams back in January. Villanova recently sustained its first loss in Big East play, but St. John’s has fallen on harder times. The Red Storm have been derailed by a number of head-scratching losses that seem to come after anything good. Last week, there was an upset of Marquette, followed by a disappointing loss to Providence. Either way, this St. John’s team will certainly be inspired once ‘Nova comes to town. The Red Storm led for a majority of the earlier meeting at the Pavilion, until ‘Nova got hot and surpassed the Johnnies late in the game. Both teams will have similar objectives on their way to victory. For Villanova, it’ll be getting secondary scoring outside of its two senior captains. Phil Booth and Eric Paschall accounted for over half of ‘Nova’s points last time, and there wasn’t a single Wildcat that also finished in double figures. As for St. John’s, it’ll be getting Shamorie Ponds some help. This will especially be difficult if Mustapha Heron is unable to go. Heron, who is St. John’s second-highest scorer, wasn’t really a factor in the previous Villanova-St. John’s game. However, he’s still a weapon for the Johnnies, one that if he’s absent--it’ll make opponents’ defensive assignments that much easier. He sustained a knee injury against Marquette and there is no timetable for a return. With or without Heron, this should still be Villanova’s game, but the Red Storm won’t make it easy. My Pick: Villanova 75, St. John’s 68

...and here’s two more:

Georgetown at Seton Hall--Wednesday, February 13, at 8:30 p.m. ET on FS1

We’re now deep in the regular season and more than halfway through Big East play, but this will finally be the first time these two teams will meet this year. Both teams are hanging on for dear life in the third-spot and looking to gain some separation. With Marquette and Villanova pulling away, the rest of the spots in the conference are virtually up for grabs and can change at any moment. Seton Hall has cooled off immensely, since a 3-1 start to Big East play, while Georgetown is trying to find consistency. It’ll be fun to see Myles Powell go up against the phenomenal freshmen guards James Akinjo and Mac McClung. It’ll also be interesting to see how Seton Hall does at trying to contain Jessie Govan. The Pirates have allowed opposing prominent big men go to work in the past. Strong examples include: Bruno Fernando (Maryland), Kentucky’s P.J. Washington and Reid Travis, Martin Krampelj (Creighton), as well as Zach Hankins (Xavier). Like Seton Hall’s experience with Creighton, it’ll be Georgetown’s high-powered offense vs. a game-changing talent like Powell, who can tip the balance singlehandedly. With two potential All-Big East first teamers in this game (Govan and Powell), this should be a good first meeting between both teams fighting for position in the conference. My Pick: Seton Hall 77, Georgetown 73

Xavier at Providence--Saturday, February 16, at 2 p.m. ET on FOX

It’s not so often that a battle between the bottom two teams is showcased as a game to watch for, but aside from it being a fight between two squads looking to avoid last place--this was actually a really even and intriguing matchup the last time out. Providence managed to hold off a Xavier comeback attempt to win, 64-62, a couple weeks ago. The Friars recently shook off another losing slump, while Xavier is on the hunt to break its losing streak. Providence might be offensively-challenged, but I’m feeling almost a repeat of what happened last time: the Xavier Musketeers’ bad habit of turning the ball over too much will cost them, especially in a hostile environment in which the Friars typically play good in. Last time out, Providence forced 18 turnovers, including two in the final minute of play to seal the deal. The Friars should replicate similar numbers. According to KenPom, the Friars force turnovers on 20.9 percent of opponents’ possessions--among top 70 teams in NCAA. It could lead to easy buckets and scoring opportunities, but more importantly, a way to protect home court. My Pick: Providence 65, Xavier 59

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

Tuesday, February 12
Marquette at DePaul, at 8 p.m. on FSN
Butler at St. John’s, at 8:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network

Wednesday, February 13
Providence at Villanova, at 6:30 p.m. on FS1
Creighton at Xavier, at 8:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network

Saturday, February 16
DePaul at Butler, at 8 p.m. on FS1

Sunday, February 17
Seton Hall at Creighton, at 3 p.m. on FS1

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

St. John’s
Seton Hall