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Big East Coast Bias Power Rankings: Creighton's big week pushes them to third

A big win over Xavier propels Creighton to third in this week's Power Rankings.

While you were busy waiting on that new Kanye to drop, the Big East's postseason dreams were taking form. Villanova enters its second week as the number one team in the nation, and Xavier looks like a 2-seed destined for St. Louis this March, despite a loss to a red-hot Creighton team that looks deadly heading into the final stretch. Elsewhere, Georgetown missed out on a key win that could've saved their NCAA tournament hopes, and Marquette wasn't able to follow up a thrilling double overtime win over Providence with another W over Creighton. Their hopes aren't dashed yet, but they are dwindling.

If Butler can finish strong, or a surprise team goes on a tear and wins the Big East tournament, we're looking at five, maybe six Big East teams in the tournament, a testament to a strong conference season for arguably the conference that's looked down upon the most. That's a big F-U, no John Cena, to the detractors who claimed the Big East was dead three years ago.

With three weeks of conference play left, teams are buckling down to make one final push for postseason play. Butler draws Creighton at home before a trip to Philly to meet a Villanova team they nearly beat a month ago. Providence gets another stab at Xavier on Wednesday, as does Georgetown in a matinee showdown in DC on Saturday.

Rank Team/Record Trending Comments

1

(22-3, 12-1)

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How do you celebrate becoming the #1 team in the country? You play the two bottom teams in the conference. The 'Cats abilities were on full display this week as they routed DePaul and comfortably dispatched St John's despite playing one of their worst games of the season. - Clay Sauertieg

2



(22-3, 10-3)

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Xavier was rolling before they ran into a 5-foot-10 buzzsaw named Mo Watson, and the Musketeers suffered a 14-point loss in Omaha thanks in large part to Watson's 32 points. A beatdown at Butler saved X from falling out of the top 10 this week. Still, they've won six of their last seven, and wins this week over Providence and Georgetown - the latter exacting revenge on a close loss a month ago - only solidifies their standing as a top 2 seed in the tourney - Pierce Roberson

3

(17-9, 8-5)

+2

Creighton had a monumental week, starting off with a convincing win over Xavier on Tuesday and following it with a tightly contested win over Marquette in Milwaukee. The play of Mo Watson Jr. has been phenomenal, but the real story is the resurgence of Creighton's defense. With newly acquired energy and the sheer will to out-hustle opponents has made the Bluejays a formidable opponent as we head down the stretch. The Jays head to Hinkle on Tuesday to face Butler and then have 8 days off to rest up for their final push. - Alex Sindelar

4

(17-7, 7-5)

-1 The Pirates had an opportunity to assert themselves in the conference with a home matchup with Butler last Wednesday. And... there's no real way around it: They blew it. I think they're in better standing than a lot of people would have you believe - though perhaps the mock brackets that have come out would indicate otherwise - but you cannot lose home games this time of year, especially ones where you're favored and when you own a lead for a time. The Pirates face Georgetown and St. John's this week and MUST bounce back in a big way before their matchups with Providence and Xavier arrive. It's both crucial and imperative. - Chris Novak

5


(19-7, 7-6)

-1

What more can we say about Ben Bentil? The kid is an absolute animal. Bentil was the reason the Friars even had a chance to win in Milwaukee on Wednesday and was a key part of their win against Georgetown at the weekend. Bentil and co-star Kris Dunn give the Friars a chance to beat anyone they come up against going forward.- Clay Sauertieg

6

(17-8, 6-7)

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The Bulldogs picked up a big road win against Seton Hall before falling to Xavier at home to maintain the sixth spot in our power rankings. With four weeks until Selection Sunday, the Bulldogs are still hanging by the skin of their teeth and could use some wins. Luckily for them, they control their destiny. A 2-0 week against Creighton and Villanova would likely give Butler room to breathe - Robert O'Neill

7

(14-12, 7-6)

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Welp. Not much there is to say that hasn't already been said. The Hoyas' squandering of early opportunities has predictably bit them in the butt. Now at 14-12 with a 7-6 record in conference, with matchups looming vs. SHU, Xavier, Butler, Marquette and Villanova, they would have to pull off something fierce to be able to make a major run to March. All that's left essentially is to attempt for the auto bid by winning the BIG EAST Tourney though. And even that, now, seems like somewhat of a stretch. - Chris Novak

8


(16-10, 5-8)

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After a 2OT classic over Providence ended with a win, the Golden Eagles had a chance to take a step forward with a victory over Creighton. Unfortunately, the Jays were too much for the young Marquette squad to handle and they finished 1-1 for the week. At 16-10 for the season, it's starting to look like the only hope of playing in the NCAA Tournament would be to win the BIG EAST Tournament - Robert O'Neill

9


(8-16, 2-10)
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DePaul had just one game last week - a rout at home courtesy of the number one team in the nation. The Blue Demons will have a full week off before they get a chance to earn some late season Big East wins: a three-game stretch at St. John's and then back home to face Marquette and the Johnnies once more.   - Pierce Roberson

10


(7-19, 0-13)

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What can ya say? What can ya do? We knew it would be awfully difficult for St. John's to compete this year and that's proved to be as accurate as can be. The Red Storm haven't won a game in two months but, at the very least, there have been some positives to take away from that. We'll keep reserving judgment on this team, and Chris Mullin, for 2016. For now, they're merely a work-in-progress. - Chris Novak


Jumpman Jumpman

Butler was already dead in this one before Xavier's JP Macura threw dirt on their graves.

So help us God...

Cartwright-eous

Providence's Kyron Cartwright took it upon himself to turn Georgetown's Marcus Derrickson to stone with a beautiful stop-and-go move.

Alum of the Week

All Star weekend has come and gone, and again the NBA's best put on a showcase to remember. From a mind-blowing Slam Dunk contest to Kobe's last ASG hurrah, All Star 2016 was one for the record books (except if you ask Paul George). This week's alum(s) of the week goes to every Big East all star: East starter Kyle Lowry, Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler, who did not play. Let's also recognize two All-Stars who used to play Big East ball: Syracuse's Carmelo Anthony and UConn's Andre Drummond.