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Big East Coast Bias Power Rankings: Nova and Xavier earn top votes prior to Top 5 meeting

Villanova earned all but one top vote in this week's power rankings, the other going to Xavier, who they'll meet in a battle of No. 1 vs. No. 5 this week.

We're only two weeks away from the Big East Tournament! Can you feel it? The fever?

Now that the field is thinning, the race for the tournament intensifies as we close out the regular season, starting this Wednesday with a Top 5 clash in Cincy between No. 1 Villanova and No. 5 Xavier. It was New Years Eve when Nova obliterated the Muskies in the Big East opener, X's first loss of the season, and Xavier has waited two long months for retribution. They get it this week, with a chance at a #1 seed in the tournament possibly hinging on this game.

Another team looking to make a statement this week is Seton Hall. The South Orange Pirates barely escaped MSG on Sunday, now two big games are looming - Thursday against Providence and a date with Xavier this Sunday. A 1-1 week would be satisfactory for the Hall. Going 2-0, with an upset of top 5 Xavier on Senior Day, would give Seton Hall a big push when its time to seed the field of 68.

Elsewhere this week, Marquette aims to boost their resume as they take on Creighton (in Omaha) and Villanova at home over the weekend, and Butler meets Georgetown in the Nation's Capital on their quest to get off the bubble and get into the big dance. Now that the stage is set for this week, let's get you caught up on what you missed:

Rank Team/Record Trending Comments

1

(24-3, 13-1)

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Number 1 in the country, number 1 in our power rankings. Expecting anything different? The Wildcats took down a very good Temple team before defeating Butler at The Pavillon. They seem to be in prime position for, not only a 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament, but maybe the #1 overall seed - Robert O'Neill

2



(24-3, 12-3)

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The Musketeers received a first place vote in the power rankings this week, and it's easy to see why. They took care of business against Providence and Georgetown. Wednesday night will give us one of the biggest games in BIG EAST history, as Villanova comes to Cintas to face off with the Musketeers. - Robert O'Neill

3

(19-7, 9-5)

+1

The Hall avoided disaster Sunday, blowing a 19-point lead before narrowly escaping MSG with a one-point win over St. John's. Just days after dropping 22 on Georgetown, Isaiah Whitehead had one of the worst games of his career, going 1 of 12 from the field, but sank the clutch free throws late to give Seton Hall the win, capping off a big week for the Pirates - they had never swept Georgetown AND St. John's in the same season since they joined the Big East - Pierce Roberson

4


(19-8, 7-7)

+1 The Friars lost their lone game of the week, but there's no shame in losing to Xavier at Cintas. The Friars face Seton Hall in Newark on Thursday, then have back-to-back home games against DePaul and Creighton before going to St. John's. Things are trending upward in Providence. - Robert O'Neill

5

(17-10, 8-6)

-2 Although Creighton suffered a setback with the loss to Butler on Tuesday, the Bluejays are in prime position for a final push after an eight day layoff. With time to heal and properly gameplan for Marquette on Wednesday and St. John's on Sunday, one would presume that the Jays have an awful good shot at finishing the upcoming week with a couple of wins heading into the final regular season slate. - Alex Sindelar

6

(18-9, 7-8)

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The Bulldogs went 1-1 (defeated Creighton and lost to Villanova) this week, keeping them sixth in our power rankings. at 7-8 in BIG EAST play, Butler needs to go at least 2-1 against Georgetown/Seton Hall/Marquette and then win a couple BIG EAST Tournament games in order to reach the NCAA Tournament, anything less may leave Butler sweating on Selection Sunday - Robert O'Neill

7

(14-14, 7-8)

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I think it's officially safe to say it's gonna take a miraculous run through the Big East tournament for Georgetown to see postseason play (maybe the CBI is in need of a big name program). The Hoyas have fallen in three straight games, and have lost six of their last seven, with the lone win coming in DC over St. John's. Georgetown has three games - starting Saturday on Senior Day against Butler - to get some momentum going before heading to NY to play their way into the dance - Pierce Roberson

8


(17-10, 6-8)

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The Golden Eagles took care of business in their lone game of the week, defeating DePaul 73-60. Their road is tough for the rest of the season, however, with trips to Omaha and Indianapolis looming, plus a home game this week against the top-ranked Villanova Wildcats. It's looking like Marquette will be NIT-bound. - Robert O'Neill

9


(8-20, 1-14)
+1

THE STREAK IS OVER. St. John's snapped a 16-game losing skid, the longest such streak in Division I, with a fifteen-point win over DePaul in Queens, their first win in more than two months. Mullin's boys then came oh so close to pulling off a major upset of cross-state Seton Hall. Games like these late in the year are great morale boosters for a young, inexperienced team like the Johnnies. - Pierce Roberson

10

(8-18, 2-12)

-1

Congratulations, DePaul! You are finally back in the Big East Coast Bias cellar, losing at St. John's by double digits. The Blue Demons showed some resolve, cutting a 20-point deficit to nine down the stretch, but essentially this was a blowout, and getting blown out by the team with ZERO conference wins will more than earn you a spot at the bottom. They have a chance to exact revenge on the Johnnies this Thursday in Rosemont - Pierce Roberson