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Pre-Big East Tournament Power Rankings

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

Villanova spent the majority of the season in the number 1 slot, and barring an early exit from the Big East tournament, the Wildcats are poised to be a number 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Nova clinched the record for most regular season wins in team history after rolling over St. John's en route to its 12th straight W, the first time they've won 12 consecutive Big East games in program history. Four starters were given All-Big East regular season honors with Darrun Hilliard and Ryan Arcidiacono making the All-Big East First Team, and JayVaughn Pinkston and Daniel Ochefu earning honorable mentions. March hasn't been kind to Villanova lately, who lost to Seton Hall in the Big East tournament opener last year, and have failed to advance past the first weekend since 2008. But these Wildcats look like an elite team that could make a deep postseason run in 2015.

2. Butler Bulldogs (22-9, 12-6, last week: 4)

Butler finished the regular season strong with a close win on the road at Providence. The Dogs held leading Big East scorer LaDontae Henton to just eight points on 2 of 10 shooting, and All-Big East First Teamer Kellen Dunham scored 15 points to give Butler their ninth win in 12 games. Butler has a lot of momentum going into the Big East tournament as the 3 seed, where they'll match up against Xavier in the quarterfinals. Chris Holtmann's boys remember the 17-point beatdown the Muskies put on them a few weeks ago, and will be out for revenge on their quest for a Big East tournament title.

3. Georgetown Hoyas (20-9, 12-6, last week: 2)

What an emotional senior day for the Hoyas after center Tyler Adams, sidelined since his freshman year after a heart condition ended his career prematurely, started and scored the first two points of Saturday's win over Seton Hall. The good news continued Sunday as D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera, a scratch yesterday with a sore knee, was named to the All-Big East First Team. Georgetown must now turn their attention to postseason play, where they're looked at as a sleeper pick to make some noise in the NCAA tournament. Could the Big East tourney be the start of a memorable run for the Hoyas?

4. Providence Friars (21-10, 11-7, last week: 3)

PC kept it close with All-Big East First Team selection LaDontae Henton struggling, as fellow First Teamer Kris Dunn buoyed Providence with 23 points, six dimes and four steals. The Friars fell short of their first 12-win Big East season in program history, but the defending tournament champs are ready to make an impact in MSG once more. Coach Ed Cooley knows his team has to put the regular season behind them and focus on building momentum going into the tournament. Don't be shocked if the Friars make it back-to-back tournament titles.

5. St. John's Red Storm (21-10, 10-8, last week: same)

Can we just talk about Rysheed Jordan murdering Dylan Ennis yesterday? The sophomore had 21 points and a jam that will be replayed on dunk highlights for years to come. The Johnnies couldn't upend the 'Cats, but they sit comfortably as the 5th seed in the Big East tourney, where they'll square off with defending tournament champion Providence. The Johns swept PC in dominating fashion back in January, but March is a different game. Jordan and All-Big East selections D`Angelo Harrison (first team) and Sir'Dominic Pointer (second team) must be ready for the challenge to come

6. Xavier Musketeers (19-12, 9-9, last week: same)

Dee Davis is the most popular man in Cincinnati right now. His free throws with four seconds left gave Xavier a one-point victory in Omaha Saturday, virtually locking down a spot in the tournament for the Muskies. Matt Stainbrook scored a career-high 26 points, and the big man will play a key role in X's quarterfinal matchup with No. 3 seed Butler. A lot can happen between now and Selection Sunday, but it appears Xavier will make it to the dance. First things first, they have to get through the rest of the Big East to put the rest of the field on notice.

7. Seton Hall Pirates (16-14, 6-12, last week: 8)

Seton Hall will need to survive in order to advance, facing a do-or-die situation to make it to the NCAA tournament. No matter what happens from here on out, head coach Kevin Willard could be on his way out. He deserves tons of praise for giving Georgetown's Tyler Adams his uncontested dunk in the open of yesterday's loss to Georgetown, but the fact remains: he is 30-60 in five seasons of Big East play, and after the turmoil of this season, it may be time for The Hall to move on. Elsewhere, Sterling Gibbs makes the All-Big East Second Team, and possible conference Freshman of the Year Angel Delgado was joined by Isaiah Whitehead on the All-Rookie Team.

More on Seton Hall: South Orange Juice
8. DePaul Blue Demons (12-19, 6-12, last week: 7)

Most experts pegged DePaul as a late-place finish (again), but an unexpected open to the conference schedule pushed the Blue Demons to a No. 7 seed in the Big East tournament, and a winnable matchup with Creighton in the opening round. DePaul is an expert at winning the Wednesday game, having upset 7-seed Georgetown last year in the Big East tournament. It'll be awesome to see if DePaul can avoid finishing with the worst overall record in the Big East. Props to Billy Garrett for being an All-Big East honorable mention. One can only believe he's a shoo-in to make either team in his junior year.

9. Creighton Bluejays (13-18, 4-14, last week: same)

Creighton came within seconds of spoiling Xavier's month, now they'll try and spoil someone else's in the Big East tourney. The Bluejays split the season series with DePaul, with the road team winning both contests. A win in the Big East tournament would give returning players a lot of confidence going into 2015.

10. Marquette Golden Eagles (12-18, 4-14, last week: same)

Congrats to Matt Carlino and Duane Wilson. The two newcomers earned Big East honors, the transfer Carlino making the All-Big East Second team, and the freshman Wilson making the All-Rookie squad. Before they look towards the future, the Golden Eagles draw Seton Hall in the first round and will look to put the final nail in the Pirates coffin this season.