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Big East Power Rankings: Week Fourteen

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
1. Villanova Wildcats (26-2, 13-2, last week: same)

Senior Night, as it always is in sports, was an emotional night for Villanova's departing seniors Darrun Hilliard and Jayvaughn Pinkston.  They finished their final game at the Pavilion by extending their 26-straight win streak on-campus in an 89-61 rout of No. 25 Providence.  Hilliard scored 24 points - 19 in the second half - and the big Pinkston had 16 points and eight rebounds.  The Wildcats have clinched at least a share of the Big East regular-season title for the second consecutive year and they're coasting as we approach Championship Week in the upcoming weeks.

2. Georgetown Hoyas (18-8, 10-5, last week: 4)

The Hoyas are now in position to secure a No. 2 seed in the Big East tournament with a one-game conference lead on Butler (seriously, that first Butler win should count) and with a miracle they could win a share of the regular season title still.  The most important thing for John Thompson and the Hoyas right now is seeding.  They'll play a tough one at MSG this Saturday against a St. John's team that looks like the 5th team in after sweeping Xavier, then the grudge match at Hinkle in round 3 between the Hoyas and the Bulldogs.

3. Providence Friars (19-9, 9-6, last week: same)

It was the best of times and it was the worst of times for Providence this week.  After the Friars entered the Top 25 poll for the first time in 11 years, they took one to the chin Tuesday night at Villanova, once trailing by 25 midway through the second half on their way to a loss to the Wildcats.  Good news for PC fans in the race for the No. 2 seed in the Big East tourney, their next two games comes against Marquette, losers of 10 of 11, and Seton Hall, an absolute dumpster fire.

4. Butler Bulldogs (20-8, 10-5, last week: 2)

Butler responded to a blowout at Xavier by walking over Marquette in a 73-52 win.  Saturday's matchup with DePaul favors the Bulldogs, who stand tied with Georgetown and one game ahead of Providence for second place in the conference.  With the Hoyas and Friars being the final two regular season games for Butler, this will shape up to be an interesting finish in the race for the No. 2 seed in the Big East tournament.

5. St. John's Red Storm (19-9, 8-7, last week: same)

The Johnnies look poised to be the 5th Big East team included in the NCAA tournament after they held off Xavier for their second win over the Muskies in 10 days.  D`Angelo Harrison scored 20 points and Sir'Dominic Pointer added 19 of his own to pull a half-game ahead of X in the standings.  St. John's looks to have avoided letting another midseason slump hurt their chances at an at-large bid in the tournament.  Their final three comes against Georgetown, at Marquette and at Villanova.  With a strong non-conference season, a win at least one of those games should get them in.

6. Xavier Musketeers (18-11, 8-8, last week: same)

A 17-point rout of Butler proved Xavier's strength on their homecourt, but their struggles on the road continued Monday night, losing a close one at St. John's.  Now 8-8 in the Big East, X can't afford to finish under .500 in the conference.  Senior Day this Saturday against Villanova is a toss-up considering the Musketeers is one of the nation's best home teams in the country, despite two home losses this month.  A win over No. 6 Nova this weekend should propel X into the tournament, given their Top 30 RPI ranking at the moment.  If not, a regular season finale at Creighton turns into a must-win.

7. DePaul Blue Demons (12-17, 6-10, last week: same)

DePaul has lost five straight and seven of their last eight as they sink back into the lower tier of the Big East.  Good news though, DePaul fans: the Blue Demons WON'T finish in last place!  Cue the "I told you so's!" from most of the squad here at BECB.  They have a chance to shake things up at the top of the standings this weekend when Butler visits Chicago for Senior Day, but DePaul is nothing more than a spoiler at this point.

8. Seton Hall Pirates (15-12, 5-10, last week: same)

Make it six straight losses for The Hall after last week's matchup with the Johnnies.  The team will be without Sterling Gibbs Saturday against Creighton as he serves the last of a two-game suspension.  While their hopes for an at-large bid in the tournament may have been dashed, the Pirates still have a shot at making the NIT, not a bad consolation prize for a team with the ability to turn on the jets, but in need of stability.  A win over the Bluejays is critical for their chances of making the next best postseason tourney.

9. Creighton Bluejays (13-15, 4-11, last week: same)

Hats off to Greg McDermott for notching his 400th career win as a head coach in a win over DePaul, with son and Chicago Bull Doug in attendance.  It's been a rough year in the post-Dougie McBuckets era for the Bluejays, who have gone 4-11 in conference play since opening the season with a 9-4 record.  With perhaps a top 50 recruiting class coming in and James Milliken, Toby Hegner and Isaiah Zierden returning, Greg McDermott will have enough weapons to retool and make a run to get back in the NCAA tournament in 2016.

10. Marquette Golden Eagles (11-16, 3-12, last week: 9)

Marquette fans will be happy to make the trip to Brooklyn next year.  The Golden Eagles will play in the 2015 Legends Classic at the Barclays Center on Nov. 23rd and 24th.  It'll be a great chance for Wojo to showcase his first full recruiting class, including Henry Ellenson and Sacar Anim, the three-star guard who chose MU earlier this week, strengthening Marquette's top 10 nationally ranked class.