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Big East Power Rankings: Week Eleven

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
1. Villanova Wildcats (20-2, last week: same)

We get a lot of hate from Villanova fans because, apparently, we have a bias against the Wildcats. Nevermind the fact that they've been unanimously voted No. 1 in our power rankings more times than I can imagine, or the fact they're the most consistent program in the Big East, or the fact that every single one of their conference wins have come by double digits. No, we here at Big East Coast Bias can't stand the conference's only Top 20 team. Ryan Arcidiacono has strung together a couple of 18-point games, emerging at the 'Cats most consistent threat at the moment. But maybe if they stopped winning, Ryno (or Arch, whichever 80s nickname you'd rather give him) could finally get the props he deserves. Why can't you lose more so you can be like DePaul? Geez.

2. Georgetown Hoyas (15-7, last week: 3)

The Hoyas' offense collapsed Wednesday, giving up a 13-point lead with just over 11 minutes left in the game and failing to convert all but one basket the rest of the way. Georgetown's 15 turnovers led to 20 Providence points, and the team missed 6 of their 18 free throw opportunities in the second half. D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera was great once again last night, scoring 21 points and sinking five 3-pointers, but another bad drought offensively killed the Hoyas, who could be out of the Top 25 unless they walk into the Wells Fargo Center and drop 7th-ranked Villanova this Saturday.

3. Butler Bulldogs (17-6, last week: 4)

Chris Holtmann took over a Butler program that struggled mightily under Brandon Miller last year and he's seemingly righted the ship in Indianapolis, winning seven of Butler's first 10 conference games, including non-conference wins over North Carolina and Georgetown back in November. Kellen Dunham led the Bulldogs with 21 points and 7 rebounds in Tuesday's win over St. John's, who've won four straight since losing late at Georgetown last month. Going into a crucial stretch of Big East games, Butler finds themselves in good position to make it to the Big Dance, and the guidance of the likely Big East coach of the year is a big part of that.

4. Providence Friars (17-6, last week: 5)

These may just be the top four teams in the Big East, but by no means is Providence the worst of the four. The Friars used a 20-6 run to take the lead on the road at Georgetown and beat the 24th-ranked Hoyas 74-71 on Wednesday. Ben Bentil had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Big East leading scorer LaDontae Henton scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half, contributing to PC's 57.9 FG percentage in the half. Providence snapped a streak of 31 straight road losses against ranked teams, holding Georgetown without a field goal in the final 7:41. A sweep of Georgetown looks great on Providence's resume, which only gets stronger if they can pick up a win at Xavier this Saturday.

5. Xavier Musketeers (14-9, last week: 6)

One of the best home teams in the nation, Xavier was held to 38.6 percent shooting by a Creighton team ranked 143 in the daily RPI and lost at the Cintas Center in overtime. The Muskies are among ESPN's Joe Lunardi's first four byes in March's NCAA tournament, but Wednesday's loss solidified their standing as a team on the bubble. X remains a threat thanks to their offensive unit, which ranks 7th in the country in adjusted offensive effienciency (114.2). But best believe, if Xavier gives more efforts like they did Wednesday, that bubble will burst by selection sunday.

6. Seton Hall Pirates (15-7, last week: 2)

Since starting off conference play with back-to-back wins over then 15th-ranked St. John's and then-6th ranked Villanova, both home wins, The Hall has gone 3-5, highlighted by sweeps at the hands of Butler and DePaul. The Pirates are in the midst of a bad midseason slump, but the good news is they've got their dynamic freshman Isaiah Whitehead back. He returned with 19 points against Xavier and 14 off the bench against DePaul. As the playing time begins to increase for Whitehead, so will The Hall's productivity on the court, which boasts well for Seton Hall with a rematch at Villanova and key games against Georgetown and Providence down the stretch.

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

If you picked the over on DePaul winning at least five conference games this year, you're feeling like the smartest man in the room. The Blue Demons completed the season sweep of Seton Hall Tuesday, holding the Pirates to 36 percent shooting. They're 11-1 this season when outshooting their opponents, and 1-11 when they don't. Enter the Butler Bulldogs, who currently rank 3rd in the Big East in adjusted offensive efficiency (106.9). DePaul returns to the scene of last year's epic (by DePaul standards) come-from-behind win over the Bulldogs, and with both teams significantly improved from a year ago, Saturday should be a show-stealer from Indy. In other news, can the DePaul Bench Mob stay forever?

8. St. John's Red Storm (14-8, last week: same)

ESPN's Joe Lunardi has St. John's as one of his first four teams out of the Big Dance, and just like last year, they're moving loser and closer to clinching an NIT bid with each loss. The Johnnies were shorthanded after the ejection of Chris Obekpa for hitting Butler's Tyler Wideman in the back of the head, leaving an already small St. John's team without a presence inside the paint, giving away to 46 points inside for Butler. The Red Storm are 3-6 in Big East play with two games against Xavier and Georgetown left and a trip to Villanova to finish the regular season. If St. John's has a second gear, it needs to kick in now, or else Steve Lavin could find himself on the hottest seat in New York City.

9. Marquette Golden Eagles (10-12, last week: same)

The losing streak has hit six straight for the Golden Eagles, but take away Wednesday's 18-point loss at Villanova and Marquette has been a tough match-up during this skid. MU gave Georgetown everything they had in a 10-point overtime loss a few Saturdays ago, held serve with Seton Hall in the first half before the Pirates went on a 28-8 run to break that game open, and had a 10-point lead on Butler late in regulation before the Bulldogs came roaring back to win it in OT. Wojo is having a rough rookie season as a head coach, but his team plays hard for 40+ minutes, and no loss comes without a fight.

10. Creighton Bluejays (11-13, last week: same)

Since our last rankings a couple weeks ago, the Bluejays not only showed why CenturyLink is a dangerous venue for a road team to visit, getting the best of St. John's for their first conference win, they went to Xavier and knocked off one of the best home team's in the country in overtime. Ricky Kreklow went 5 of 9 from deep, Devin Brooks turned in one of his best games with the Jays, scoring 13 points and pulling down 12 boards. Creighton shot 46 percent from the field with four players scoring 12 points or more, while the defense held the conference's best scoring team to 65 points in regulation, 7 in OT. A solid effort by a struggling Bluejay team.