What a time to be a Musketeer! Xavier claims the top spot in our Power Rankings for the first time this year thanks to an impressive win over Cincinnati (and a Villanova loss to Oklahoma). All but two first-place votes went X's way, and if you ask the experts, Xavier is looking like a Final Four team in mid-December. Of course, we said the same about Nova last year. Crying Piccolo Girl still hasn't gotten over it.
Well well well, wouldn't ya know? Georgetown is back to fifth this week. It Happens when you let a 25-point lead slip late. Providence fans will probably not be pleased to know they've risen one spot to fourth (if they're still reading these), but I doubt PC supporters will truly be satisfied until the Friars hoist the national championship and Kris Dunn jets into space and saves Earth from a catastrophic meteor shower. Ah, such is life. Hopefully they're still following along. I'm glad you are too. Enjoy this week's Power Rankings!
Another week, another two wins for the Musketeers, including an impressive one over arch-rival Cincinnati in the Crosstown Shootout. Before the game, Cincinnati Coach Mick Cronin joked that he couldn’t tell the difference between Xavier and the Golden State Warriors. As former Xavier walk-on Tim Whelan noted on Twitter, the difference is that only one of those teams is undefeated. Xavier isn’t Golden State, but they’ve been pretty impressive so far. - Nick Mueller
The Wildcats fall to #2 for the first time this season. There's no shame in losing to Oklahoma at a neutral site. Villanova is here solely because they have a loss and Xavier does not. A win over Virginia next Saturday would (likely) get the Wildcats back to #1 - Robert O'Neill
Behind yet another huge performance from sophomore guard Kelan Martin, the Bulldogs rolled to their fifth straight win. The sample size is big enough now that we can comfortably consider Butler one of the most potent offenses in basketball regardless of opponent level, and while their defense certainly still needs some work, there are more than a few guys on this team that can explode at any time. The Bulldogs have a very, very tough matchup with No. 11 Purdue at the Crossroads Classic on Saturday, which will give us a good indicator of what this team's ceiling really can be. For now, they've firmly planted their flag as one of the best teams in the conference. - Mike Murtaugh
Providence capped off a 2-0 week with a win over in-state rival Bryant to complete the Ocean State sweep, and over a depleted Boston College team that was trying to recover from a norovirus. Providence didn't escape the week totally unscathed. Breakout sophomore Ben Bentil sprained his ankle in the closing minutes of the first half in the BC game, Kris Dunn took ill a few minutes before that -- each missed the entire second half of that game -- and freshman sharpshooter Ryan Fazekas was diagnosed with mono prior to that game. The exam break comes at a great time for the 10-1 Friars. They next play on Saturday night against Rider before finishing their non-conference slate on December 21st at UMass. - Mike Hopkins
The Hoyas, like Marquette, have been taking care of business against inferior opponents. I worry a little bit about them this week when they face Monmouth, but if they’re able to get past the scare of another mid-major opponent this week then they should be in good shape heading into conference play. DSR has been DSR and Marcus Derrickson’s emergence is becoming more apparently each time he takes the floor. - Christopher Novak
Remember when Marquette lost to Belmont and got crushed by Iowa? They’ve certainly done the work necessary to put that behind them. Seven wins in a row, including a big one over the in-state rival Badgers. Henry Ellenson and Luke Fischer are playing like one of the best 4/5’s in the country. At this point, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be carrying a nine-game winning streak into their BIG EAST opener against Seton Hall on December 30. MU is rolling. - Christopher Novak
In any other conference, Seton Hall would probably be higher than seventh overall. The Big East has been very good this season, and Seton Hall has suffered a bit. They have a big showdown against Wichita State this Saturday in Newark after winning their two games this week over Troy and St. Peter's. - Robert O'Neill
Creighton dominated in-state rival Nebraska and took care of business against IUPUI this past week with some phenomenal play from Isaiah Zierden and Khyri Thomas. The Bluejays have the week off for finals only to face another grueling test in Oklahoma this Saturday. With injuries galore, this week off couldn't have come at a better time for the Jays. - Alex Sindelar
St. John's is still undefeated at home under Chris Mullin, with wins during the week over Niagara and a convincing win over Syracuse on Sunday. The Johnnies appear to have stabilized their season and look to be on the upswing thanks to the play of Federico Mussini, who posted 17 points on Sunday. "This was the best win of my life in the world's most famous arena," Mussini said after the game. "Nothing better than this." Perhaps the Mullin effect is real? - Andrew Padyk
The second Dave Leitao era is off to a rather lukewarm start. Freshmen Erten Gazi and (especially) Eli Cain look like they're contributors going forward, and the Blue Demons have no shortage of three-point shooters. They lack any semblance of frontcourt depth however, and defense is an issue. On their night they can give any team a run for their money, but don't expect it too often as they search for consistency. - Charlie Ellsworth
Poster of the Week
Y'all wanna see a dead body?
How nice of Edmond Sumner to bring a sacrifice to the Crosstown Showdown. Seriously, Xavier might be the best team in the Big East and Sumner is the freshman NOBODY is talking about. The kid is an athletic freak and his ceiling is sky high.
S/N remember when Cincinnati left for the American and the Big East got the "other" Cincy school? How you like us now? (h/t @RobDauster)
The Golden Globes were announced this week. If they would've waited a few more days, Tennessee's Armani Moore might've gave Steve Carrell and Mark Ruffalo a run for Best Actor.
What in the bluest of hells did I just watch? I haven't seen selling this bad since....well I don't remember the last time I sat and watched Monday Night Raw. But THIS? This is The Rock overselling the shit out of a Stone Cold Stunner. Did you attend the Vlade Divac summer camp for Flopping bro? Dwyane Wade is rolling in his grave. Even worse, the ref with the bad angle falls for it! Bravo dude. You got the call, but millions of people are questioning your testicular fortitude.
And with that, I present to you one of the worst sell jobs of all time.
So remember when we said Edmond Sumner is the freshman no one is talking about? Henry Ellenson is the freshman everyone NEEDS to be talking about.