After weeks of non-conference play we're finally entering Big East conference play. So where does every school stand as we begin conference play?
Big East Power Rankings: Week 9
Why: Villanova could have made a major statement winning on the road at Syracuse over the weekend but came up short -- and that's fine. 'Nova is still playing at a very high level and head into conference play as the team to beat.
Why: If college basketball had their own #LeaguePassAlert the Creighton Bluejays would be the Big East team to jump on with. What Doug McDermott is doing is pretty special and it's a lot of fun to watch.
Why: Butler falls in the same class as Creighton at the moment. You could make the case they should be right behind Villanova, but Butler is definitely right there with them. They're not necessarily a fun watch, but Brandon Miller has this team playing very good basketball.
Why: I can't really figure out what this Xavier team's ceiling is. They're definitely trending up having won five in a row with victories over Wake Forest, Alabama and Cincinnati. They're good defensively, but they're offensive cohesion is still a concern with Brandon Randolph and Semaj Christon still trying to figure out how to play with one another.
Why: The Friars have been dealt a very bad hand thus far, but they've overcome it. They're 10-3, without a signature win, but played UMass down to the wire and hung with Kentucky for most of their matchup. If this team finishes within the top four of the conference Ed Cooley is my coach of the year.
Why: Non-conference play was not kind to Marquette this season, but that's okay. They've won three of their last four games and still deep enough to get back to where most experts thought they'd be this season -- at the top of the Big East.
Why: Georgetown may be the most frustrating team in the conference this season. A team with Joshua Smith inside should not be 201st in rebounds per game -- but that's where they are. Sure, Georgetown beatdown a bad Florida International team this week but were abused by the Kansas Jayhawks just a week prior on national television. Georgetown has a lot of talent, and missing Otto Porter obviously hurts, but for the Hoyas to get back on track Smith has to become a dominant force inside.
Why: This is probably going to get some blowback, but St. John's sits at number eight this week. The Red Storm have come close to being upset several times this season -- and to their credit they've survived. St. John's could really use a decisive victory over Xavier this week to instill more confidence in this team going forward.
Why: The Pirates can't seem to catch a break either this season. They're good enough offensively to hang with anyone in the conference. Turnovers, injuries, roster turnover, and inconsistent play has led to losses to St. Peters, Mercer, etc. The Pirates have lost games the Red Storm have come very close to -- and that's a problem.
Why: It's easy to pile on the Blue Demons, but they've had a good week! Sure, they're not very good but they hit a buzzer-beater to knock off Northwestern so that's cool. Cleveland Melvin is fun to watch though!