It's the final Big East Coast Bias power rankings of 2015! It's like the Slammy's, only it's a way better use of your three hours.
For the second week in a row, Xavier unanimously sits atop the power rankings. X has been one of, if not the, best team in college basketball this season, and they have many around the nation looking at the 6th-ranked Muskies as a Final Four team.
Sadly, St. John's was our Gretchen Weiners, the only program to come up empty handed over the holidays. The other nine teams were victorious in the slow holiday week, finishing up the non-conference schedule as we head into Big East play. The Big East boasts four teams in the top 16 of the AP poll, tied with the ACC for the most conference teams in that range. Marquette hasn't lost in more than a month, and Seton Hall has taken eight of his last nine games. For all the slack the Big East gets every year, for seemingly no reason other than it's not built on football, this has been the strongest conference in the nation through the first two months.
Thanks for the inspiration Kevin G. We'll stay on the pathway to more success. Anyway, enjoy the final Big East Power Rankings of 2015.
Xavier has shown its ability to win by jumping out in front, but this week it showed that it can storm back from a major deficit. After coughing up a miserable first half at Wake Forest last Tuesday, the Musketeers dominated the final 20 minutes en route to a 78-70 victory, their 12th of the season. So far, no challenge has been too much for Chris Mack’s squad. We’ll see if Villanova can change that when the two teams meet in the conference opener later this week. - Phil Neuffer
The Bulldogs made it through conference play at 11-1, and look great offensively going into Big East play. Their defense could still use a bit of work, though. Facing Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil on Thursday, then going to Xavier on Saturday will be a great two-part test for Butler. - Robert O'Neill
The Wildcats have rebounded nicely off their loss away in Charlottesville against Virginia. They continued their winning ways at home on Monday night against Big 5 rival Penn and now meet the top team in the conference, Xavier, in their BIG EAST opener. Highly anticipated is certainly one way to describe that encounter - Christopher Novak
Providence went 1-0 last week, blowing out UMass on the road. The big news from that game was Kris Dunn's return to the lineup after missing the previous 2 games due to illness. Dunn was good in his return, but Ben Bentil, this week's Big East Player of the Week, had a career night, scoring 32 points and grabbing 12 rebounds en route to his 3rd double-double of the season. The Friars open Big East play with a tough road game at Butler on December 31st. - Mike Hopkins
Few teams are as hot as the Golden Eagles right now. Marquette has done a great job of forgetting all about their shellacking at the hands of Iowa during the Gavitt Games and have rolled off nine straight wins including one away at the Kohl Center in Madison against the in-state rival Badgers. MU’s quality of opponent hasn’t exactly been stout, but you play who’s in front of you and can’t fault them for that. They’ll play the intriguing Seton Hall Pirates to open up Big East play in what should be a dandy- Christopher Novak
The Pirates, like Marquette, have been hot as of late. Desi Rodriguez has helped fuel the Pirates to one of the best starts in recent memory but as it always does, it boils down to how this Pirate team plays in conference play. They’ll meet up with red-hot Marquette in their Big East opener which should give us a nice litmus test to see where they’re at - Christopher Novak
An escape act against Charlotte was not exactly the resounding bounce back win that the Hoyas needed. After falling in back-to-back games to the Monmouth Bench Mob and UNC Asheville, the Hoyas squeaked out a 62-59 win over Charlotte, a team that has rubbed together just two wins this season. It’s getting tough to tell if the Hoyas are playing below themselves (after all, they played Maryland and Duke pretty well) or if they are just bad. The evidence supporting the latter sentiment is mounting.- Phil Neuffer
Creighton enters conference play against St. John's on New Year's Eve in Queens after taking care of their last two non-conference games. There's a lot of great things about this squad - especially the offense - but they've faltered a bit on the defensive side. Losing their only three close games (Arizona State, Loyola, Oklahoma) leaves us with a lot of question marks if Creighton can win in close games - but if they find a way they're going to be dangerous. - Alex Sindelar
Wait, DePaul won? Against a Top 20 team?? After three straight losses, including an excruciating late slide to Northwestern at home, the Blue Demons dominated No. 20 George Washington for their first home win against a nationally ranked opponent in nearly eight years. DePaul got a consistent effort on offense and stifled the Colonials on defense. They draw a struggling Georgetown team at home in their first Big East tilt - a prime opportunity to get some momentum going heading into 2016. - Pierce Roberson
The Johnnies had another opportunity to impress against a major conference opponent when they took on South Carolina last Tuesday in Connecticut. They hung tough for a while, but the end result was a disappointing 75-61 loss to the Gamecocks. The Red Storm finished their out-of-conference campaign with head-scratching losses to NJIT and Incarnate Word, and an equally head-scratching upset of Syracuse at the Garden. They open conference play with Creighton on Thursday afternoon, before things get really tough with a trip to Providence on Saturday. Expect the growing pains to continue for Chris Mullin's squad. - Joey Ciccarello
Most Likely to Have Spent Christmas Playing in a Piano Lounge
Stevie Wonder dropped the Christmas classic "Someday at Christmas" in 1967, and recently re-released it accompanied by the beautiful Andra Day. Seriously, the song is a freaking masterpiece. Keep your boring ass Bing Crosby Christmas songs bruh. All I need is Stevie, the Motown Christmas album and a perfectly spiked eggnog and my holidays are lit.
Anyway, if someone can please inform Stevie to move the hell out of the way. Xavier's Makindé London just unleashed bombs all over your version with his own cover.
Requests may be sent to the Cintas Center for approval. Please, no Chumbawamba.
Dunk of the Week
DePaul beat their first ranked opponent at home in years last week. Coolest part about it? Myke Henry killed a guy in the process.