clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Big East Coast Bias Power Rankings: Villanova reasserts themselves atop the Big East

Two games into the Big East season, the Wildcats prove they are still the cream of the crop in the Big East

Week one of the Big East conference schedule failed to disappoint, and after two games Villanova has eased the qualms of everyone who believed they'd fallen off the top of the conference.

Nova decimated formerly unbeaten Xavier on New Years Eve, and cruised to an easy victory at Creighton. The Wildcats domination this week earned them the No. 1 ranking in this week's power rankings. They grabbed all but three first-place votes; those went to Providence, who boasts the best overall record in the conference after a come-from-behind win at Hinkle and a convincing win over St. John's. Xavier slips two spots to No. 3, as does Butler, who starts Big East play 0-2 after falling to the Friars and X. The two Midwest rivals draw St. John's and DePaul, respectively, in the middle of the week, and with strong weeks they both can move back up in our polls.

The bottom of the power rankings stay the same, but there is some shake up in the middle. Seton Hall and Georgetown both rise one spot in the rankings after 2-0 weeks, each besting Marquette during the week, who falls to 7th after their lengthy winning streak was halted.

Now, let's start the power rankings, shall we?

Rank Team/Record Trending Comments

1

(12-2, 2-0)

+2

It was a very nice week for Villanova as they thumped Xavier and reminded the whole league that the Big East still goes through Philadelphia. Xavier may have been out of sorts after the early (and scary) injury to Edmond Sumner, but nothing was going to stop the freight train that was the Villanova offense, shooting 72% from 2-point range, 52% from beyond the arc and 91% from the foul line. They followed that up by shooting an unreal 88% from inside the arch at Creighton. The Villanova offense seems to have found its stride, and that's a scary proposition for the rest of the league. - Nick Mueller

2


(14-1, 2-0)

+2

Stock in the Friars seems to be getting higher on a week-to-week basis. Dunn is Dunn, and Bentil's break out continues to wear on. The Friars are off to their best start in almost 40 years and are showing no sign of letting up. It could really be a big year in Friartown when all's done and dusted if things continue to play out this way - Chris Novak

3



(13-1, 1-1)
-2

Xavier got a rude New Years Eve awakening with an emphatic beatdown at the hands of Villanova. Even worse was the loss of Edmond Sumner, who took a nasty fall in the opening moments and was stretchered off the court. The good news is Sumner did not receive a concussion, although he did miss X's redemption win against Butler on Saturday. It's still unclear how long he'll be sidelined, but the Musketeers seem to be embracing the Next Man Up mentality. - Pierce Roberson

4


(11-3, 0-2)

-2
Well it wasn't a good week for the Bulldogs, but don't hit the panic button just yet. Butler blew an 11-point halftime lead at home against Providence and was blown out by Xavier in Cincinnati. That said, those are two really tough games on the schedule. This will not be remembered as a terrible week killing their resume come Selection Sunday, just a couple of missed opportunities. On the plus side, two of the six hardest games on their conference schedule are out of the way and Kellen Dunham, who had been in the worst shooting slump of his career, was 3-for-5 from three-point range against Xavier. Butler is a well coached team that will be ready to go for big games at DePaul and at home against Villanova this week. - Nick Mueller

5


(12-2, 2-0)
+1
How ‘bout the Pirates? A drubbing in Milwaukee followed up with a skittish performance against DePaul that the Pirates still managed to snatch a victory from. The Pirates are riding a lengthy winning streak into a huge matchup with Villanova this week. Suffice it to say, this game could tell us everything we need to know about them - Chris Novak

6


(9-5, 2-0)

+1

Just like that, the Hoyas are back to their winning ways, rolling over DePaul and Marquette last week. Georgetown's 3-point shooting woes vanished, shooting 44% and 40% respectively. D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera looked real with 15-point outings in both games, and L.J. Peak, Isaac Copeland and Marcus Derrickson all looked strong to kick off conference play. I'm sure the "Fire JTIII" cries won't halt anytime soon, but the Hoyas have won eight of their last 10 games and they have a favorable schedule upcoming with a home rematch with DePaul positioned in between trips to Creighton and St. John's Pierce Roberson

7


(10-2, 0-2)
-1

The Golden Eagles had their nine-game winning streak snapped in a loss to Seton Hall to open conference play, then went to Georgetown and suffered another loss. Perhaps the most concerning thing? Henry Ellenson went a combined 7-of-29 from the field in their two losses. They'll look to right the ship against Providence and St. John's this week. - Robert O'Neill

8


(10-5, 1-1)
--

Creighton came into the opening weekend of conference play with their modus operandi set to beat St. John's. They did just that - unfortunately, they had to play the proverbial buzzsaw that currently is the Villanova Wildcats in their next tilt. Though the Jays were able to keep pace with 'Nova for a while and nearly went wire-to-wire with St. John's, there's a lot of room for improvement on the defensive side of the ball. It'll be interesting to see how the Jays perform as conference play gets into full swing, and I remain hopelessly optimistic, but we'll get a better picture of exactly where they stand in their games against Georgetown (1/5) and Seton Hall (1/9) in the coming week. - Alex Sindelar

9


(6-8, 0-2)
--

The Blue Demons played well and competed throughout in both of their losses, which is something you couldn't have said when Oliver Purnell was coaching. Billy Garrett and Myke Henry continue to play well, but DePaul fell victim to the talent gap in both games this week. It doesn't get any easier for them as they'll welcome a Butler team, desperately seeking a win, to the Rosemont Horizon on Tuesday night. - Robert O'Neill

10


(7-8, 0-2)

--

Two games into conference play and two defeats at the hands of Creighton and Providence for St. John's, as their losing streak is up to five games. The growing pains look to continue for the Johnnies as their ship is sailing further into the rough seas of Big East play. The good news, albeit small, is the trials and experience from this season will help in the long run. - Andrew Padyk

Human Highlight Reel of the Week

Whenever Desi Rodriguez dunks, I hear "Fly Like an Eagle" from the Space Jam soundtrack in my head.

Time keeps on slippin, slippin, slippin...

Facial of the Week

Kris Dunn put his ball in Yankuba Sima's face...

(h/t @RobDauster)

Flop or No Flop?

Now it's time for this week's favorite game show: Flop or No Flop?

Our contestant for the evening is Henry Ellenson...

Now in Ellenson's defense, Jessie Govan did catch him with an elbow to the grill, but when Hank's not being incorporated into the Marquette offense, he looks to be practicing his acting skills for the league.

I'll let you be the judge though...Flop or no Flop?

(h/t @GyrationMaster)