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Big East Standings, Schedule, Predictions, and Weekly Pick’em Contest (Week of 2/25)

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NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Marquette Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

We’re coming down the homestretch! The highly anticipated Villanova-Marquette rematch is this week, and it may ultimately be the decider for the Big East regular season title and the No. 1-seed for the Big East Tournament--barring epic collapses and unexpected results for the rest of the season. Here’s your weekly look around what’s coming up in the Big East.

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 scoresheet of everyone’s picks from this past week. (The full scoreboard and overall scoresheet will be updated and posted after Sunday’s game, this link is strictly just for Week 6 picks from this past week.)


Big East Standings (Entering Week of 2/25)

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
Marquette 12-2 -- 0.857 23-4 0.852 W4
Villanova 11-3 1 0.786 20-7 0.741 L2
St. John's 8-7 4.5 0.533 20-8 0.714 W1
Seton Hall 7-8 5.5 0.467 16-11 0.593 L2
Georgetown 6-8 6 0.429 16-11 0.593 L1
Butler 6-8 6 0.429 15-12 0.556 L1
Xavier 6-8 6 0.429 14-13 0.519 W3
Creighton 6-9 6.5 0.4 15-13 0.536 W2
DePaul 5-9 7 0.357 13-12 0.52 L3
Providence 5-10 7.5 0.333 15-13 0.536 L1

*Will be updated after Villanova-Xavier.


Game of the Week: Marquette at Villanova--Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 9 p.m. ET on FS1

If you didn’t circle this date on the calendar immediately after that Saturday afternoon game earlier this month, well, it’s certainly time to do that now. It’s been a rough stretch for the ‘Cats since. Although Marquette had spotted the Wildcats with extra cushioning for the conference lead, the Golden Eagles have since spurred ahead and are now in the driver’s seat for first place. Villanova has a chance to enact revenge and even up the season series on the Pavilion floor. The Wildcats gave the Golden Eagles a tough fight in Milwaukee, but ultimately fell short. Aside from maybe the second half of the Providence Friars game and the first few minutes of the St. John’s game, the Wildcats haven’t looked nearly as good. We’ll see how they do against the Xavier Musketeers later today, but it’s safe to say they’ve been cold. For those of you who have followed me and my predictions each weeks, you’ll see that Marquette has definitely--and continuously--proven me wrong. While I should probably listen to the stats, the numbers, and the scores--as well as observe the cold-shooting ‘Cats--I’m going to change my opinion of the Marquette Golden Eagles slightly, but not enough to say that they’ll beat the Wildcats. Villanova showed how beatable Marquette is and executed a fine gameplan--outside of hitting more shots early, but defensively ‘Nova did well overall. If the ‘Cats can duplicate a similar defensive performance--except for allowing a second player to shoot 8-for-10--they should be able to defend home court. After all, these open looks have to start dropping eventually, right? My Pick: Villanova 75, Marquette 71


...and here’s two more to watch for:

Xavier at St. John’s--Thursday, Feb. 28, at 6:30 p.m. ET on FS1

St. John’s modus operandi seems to be, whenever something good really happens, the Red Storm will follow up with a headscratching loss. One moment, they’ll look like the top contending team many people envisioned them being, while other moments they might not even beat a Division II team. The unpredictability of the Johnnies makes them an interesting team to watch--probably a frustrating roller coaster ride for a fan to follow--and probably adds to the dangerous element of knowing this team can go off at any time. On paper, it’s got the talent, although sometimes it might not seem like it. St. John’s hasn’t played against the Xavier Musketeers yet. It’s the type of team that might play into the Johnnies’ hands, one that doesn’t take good care of the ball (plenty of fast break and transition opportunities), and they can’t shoot the three-ball very well. However, if Xavier can set the tempo and slow down the game to their preferred tempo and play in the half-court, maybe it’ll have a chance--especially if their bigs can get going. Xavier is shooting 54.3 percent inside the arc--40th in the country. Based on the pattern that St. John’s has showed recently, this should be a disappointing loss, but I don’t think so. My Pick: St. John’s 70, Xavier 61

Seton Hall at Georgetown--Saturday, Mar. 2, at 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network

The Seton Hall Pirates probably have the toughest stretch to end the regular season. After losing to St. John’s on Saturday night, the stakes are even higher, as they try to play their way into the NCAA Tournament, after losing some steam in conference play. Their last three games are against the Georgetown Hoyas, Marquette Golden Eagles, and Villanova Wildcats. Ideally, they’ll try to win two of the last three, and that’ll make the game against Georgetown somewhat of a must-win. Seton Hall decimated the Hoyas at home, shutting down Mac McClung and James Akinjo, while Myles Powell and Michael Nzei had great games offensively. Like Seton Hall, Georgetown is also on bubble watch and following up the big win against ‘Nova with a loss to the Creighton Bluejays did the Hoyas no favors. In the comfort of their own home, it’s hard seeing the high-powered offense of the Hoyas going quiet once again. My Pick: Georgetown 82, Seton Hall 75


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

Tuesday, February 26
Providence at Butler, at 7 p.m. on FS1

Wednesday, February 27
DePaul at Georgetown, at 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network

Saturday, March 2
Butler at Villanova, at 2 p.m. on FOX

Sunday, March 3
St. John’s at DePaul, at 12 p.m. on FS1
Creighton at Marquette, at 3 p.m. on FS1


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

Butler
Georgetown
Villanova
St. John’s
Marquette