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Big East Coast Bias Power Rankings: The Hall jumps to #4, Butler tumbles to #8

Seton Hall jumps to their highest ranking of the season, while Butler careens to eighth as the calendar swings to February.

We've reached the halfway point of the conference season and the Big East picture is starting to look clearer.

Villanova and Xavier are the crown jewels of the conference, and Providence, not trailing far behind, have a big chance to sweep the Wildcats this year, cementing their place among the top ten teams in the nation. The Hall avenged a double-digit loss to Creighton earlier in the month with one of their own, Marquette has responded to a three-game losing streak by running off three straight wins, while Georgetown and Butler struggled to pad their NCAA tournament resumes with 1-1 weeks. March Madness is approaching quickly, and the intensity between these ten schools is guaranteed to amplify with each passing game.

Rank Team/Record Trending Comments

1

(18-3, 8-1)

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The Wildcats remain at #1 after going 1-0 in their lone game of the week against St. John's. This week, they'll be tested a bit more, facing a desperate Creighton team, and then going to face a Providence team who defeated them a couple weeks ago. - Robert O'Neill

2



(19-2, 7-2)

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Nothing scared Xavier last week. Not playing on the road. Not Kris Dunn. Heck, not even 25 points from Ben Bentil made the Musketeers quiver in their sneakers. If Xavier showed any emotion during its back-to-back wins over Providence and DePaul, it was joy, as it racked up its sixth and seventh wins in its last eight tries and kept itself on track for a surge down the stretch for the Big East crown. One of the most impressive aspects of Xavier's game is its offensive balance, which was on full display last week; at least five players scored in double figures in both contests. - Phil Neuffer

3


(18-4, 6-3)

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A big week for those Friars. They were edged out by Xavier at home in a hard-fought loss and picked up a huge road win against the Georgetown Hoyas. Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil are the nation's top 1-2 punch and the gap is widening in that department as well. The Friars will go to Rosemont to take on DePaul before hosting Villanova in a highly anticipated second encounter after their first was quite a doozy. - Chris Novak

4

(15-6, 5-4)

+3 Revenge is the best word to describe the week for the Pirates. After getting thumped by Creighton back on January 9th, The Hall issued a thumping of their own in Omaha against Mo Watson Jr. and the Bluejays. It was a big win for a Seton Hall team that has been steadfastly approaching their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 10 years. This week they host a hot Marquette team as well as Georgetown on Saturday. Should they go 2-0, that'll improve their chances no doubt. From what we've seen in the past though, winning in February has been no easy task for Kevin Willard. It's time to change that though. Plain and simple. - Chris Novak

5

(13-9, 6-3)

+1

Say what you will about the Hoyas, but one thing is clear: they will not die. After going down by 11 points with just a couple of minutes to play against Creighton, Georgetown pulled off a team-wide Reggie Miller impression, rallying back for a 74-73 win on its home floor. Unfortunately, Georgetown's recent habit of letting the next one slip continued on Saturday as the Hoyas were unable to upset Providence. Georgetown is in a precipitous place now. At 13-9, it does not have an NCAA Tournament resume, but it does remain in the thick of things in the Big East as the Hoyas are tied with Providence for third in the league standings (6-3). - Phil Neuffer

6

(14-8, 5-4)

-2

A disappointing week for the Bluejays started with an improbable implosion at Georgetown on Tuesday, and transitioned into a shellacking by Seton Hall on Saturday. On a positive note, Ronnie Harrell Jr. showed some flashes of his potential in the second half against the Pirates, as well as a needed resurgence off the bench from James Milliken. Unfortunately Creighton has little time to recover as they head to Philly to face Villanova on Tuesday without senior Geoffrey Groselle, who rolled his ankle against Seton Hall. DePaul comes to the CLink on Saturday to finish this week off, and Bluejay fans are hoping the prolific shooting the Jays are known for makes a comeback as soon as possible. Alex Sindelar

7


(15-7, 4-5)

+1

The Golden Eagles had a 2-0 week, bouncing Stetson and coming away with a big home win over the Butler Bulldogs on Saturday. MU has been gaining some MO lately, countering a 3-game losing streak with a 3-game winning streak to put them at 4-5. They have a mighty tall task ahead of them this week with trips to Seton Hall and Xavier on the horizon. If they can come away with a 1-1 performance it would do them good. 2-0? Well, then maybe we can talk about their prospects in March - Chris Novak

8

(14-7, 3-6)

-3

No team had a bigger drop this week than the Bulldogs, and it's pretty easy to see why. Although they went 1-1 this week, beating DePaul and losing to Marquette, the Bulldogs have started to back themselves into a corner. They need a strong second half if they want to make the NCAA Tournament. - Robert O'Neill

9


(7-14, 1-8)
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DePaul was overwhelmed in its two losses this week, at Butler on Wednesday then at home against Xavier on Saturday. They actually held a 32-25 lead on the Muskies late in the first half before X switched to a 1-3-1 zone and stymied the Blue Demon offense during a 29-5 run that stretched into the second half. DePaul has lost eight of its last nine, and the Allstate Arena won't exactly be a safe haven; two of their next three are at home against Providence and Villanova. - Pierce Roberson

10


(7-15, 0-9)

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Poor St. John's. Try as they might, they still have failed to get into the win column. They hung with top cat Villanova on Sunday but, like so many other instances, the Red Storm were just outclassed. The search for win No. 1 is still on and hopefully sooner rather than later, they pull themselves into the win column. - Chris Novak


Lob of the Week

@BigEastTourney is here to remind us that we only have nine games and change to appreciate the gem that is Kris Dunn in the Big East

Bursting down the backdoor and jumping into your Naismith award ballots.

GET UP, MR. BRIDGES

Fresh off a redshirt year, Mikal Bridges is taking names....and bodies too. He did so this weekend in the Garden, putting St. John's on notice

(h/t @NovaAthletics)

Alum of the Week

Dwyane Wade was playing like a man possessed this week. After losing four straight and eight of their last ten, the man formerly known as Flash lit a fire under the Miami Heat, sparking a fourth quarter comeback against the Bulls with 28 points, styling and profiling on Brooklyn and Milwaukee for 27 and 24 points, respectively, and ending the week with a 17 and 8 performance against the Hawks to claim first place in the Southwest division. Wade also finished the week tied with Bernard King for 42nd on the NBA's career scoring list, cementing the Marquette alum's place as this week's Big East alum of the week.