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Big East Coast Bias Power Rankings: Villanova is King of the Mountain

Seton Hall, Creighton continues to rise as Villanova anticipates a No. 1 ranking in the AP poll.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

With Oklahoma and North Carolina both falling over the weekend, Villanova reigns as the No. 1 team in the nation after the Coaches Poll was released earlier today, and there's a strong chance they will top the AP poll as well.

Nova avenged its sole Big East loss with a double-digit win over Providence, now reeling on a two-game losing streak after an upset at DePaul earlier in the week. Meanwhile Seton Hall continues to climb up the charts, winning their fourth-straight, Creighton jumps back into the top 5 following a three-game skid, and Butler's on the rise again after winning three of their last four.

This week provides us some interesting games that'll shape the conference's playoff hopes. Georgetown takes a weekend trip to Providence in desperate need of a key win, Xavier travels to play hungry teams in Creighton and Butler, and the Bulldogs meet red-hot Seton Hall in Hinkle on Wednesday.

Rank Team/Record Trending Comments

1

(20-3, 10-1)

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There's not much more to say about the Wildcats anymore. They looked better this week than they have all season, and that was WITHOUT Daniel Ochefu. They're number one in the Big East, and (possibly) number one in the AP Poll for the first time in school history. Barring a major upset, 'Nova should keep on rolling this week against DePaul and St. John's - Robert O'Neill

2



(21-2, 9-2)

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The Musketeers won ugly in both of their games this week (90-83 against St. John's, and 90-82 against Marquette) but survive and advance is the name of the game. Saturday's outing against Marquette saw three Musketeers score 20 or more points for the first time since 2010-11. The Musketeers should find themselves in the top 5 of the AP Poll, but they'll head into a tough week where they head to Omaha to face Creighton and Indianapolis to face Butler. - Robert O'Neill

3

(17-6, 7-4)

+1

Believe in the Pirates, yet? Saturday's victory over Georgetown marked their fourth straight victory, and was their second win of February already -- one more than they had last February. Angel Delgado has been on a tear, posting back-to-back 19 point, 13 rebound performances this week - Robert O'Neill

4


(18-6, 6-5)

-1 It's not time to worry in Friartown... yet. An 0-2 week is far from ideal, especially when one of the losses is to DePaul, but that just goes to show how big of a role Ben Bentil plays on this squad. He missed the second half of the game with a sprained ankle, and DePaul took advantage. The Friars got off to a slow start against Villanova, and that doomed them. Providence will be fine, but they need to get Bentil healthy, and snap Kris Dunn out of the shooting slump he's fallen into - Robert O'Neill

5

(15-9, 6-5)

+2

The Bluejays got off to a slow start this week, getting blown out by Villanova, but they returned to their classic run and gun form against DePaul, with junior forward Cole Huff lighting it up for the first time in conference play to the tune of 28 points. With a renewed energy on defense and the offensive pendulum beginning to swing back towards the norm, Creighton will offer Xavier a challenge on Tuesday (2/9 7pm CT) in Omaha, then take their talents on the road to Marquette on Saturday (2/13 - 7pm CT). - Alex Sindelar

6

(16-7, 5-6)

+2

It's been a tough month for Butler personally, with the passing of Andrew Smith in January and the loss of assistant Emerson Kampen's six-month-old son to a genetic disease last week, but the week on the court was enough to brighten the skies of Indianapolis, specifically the outstanding play of Kelan Martin and Roosevelt Jones. Martin exploded for 35 points and eight rebounds against Georgetown, and Rosey became the first Butler player in 32 years to record a triple-double, putting up 10 points, 14 rebounds and 10 dishes at St. John's - Pierce Roberson

7

(13-11, 6-5)

-2

The Hoyas have backed themselves into a corner. An 0-2 week against Butler and Seton Hall took them from 3rd in the BIG EAST all the way down to 6th. Equally troubling? The Hoyas can't seem to stop fouling, as they've now had a player foul out of a game 17 different times this season. They have a chance to right the ship starting Monday night against St. John's, but the margin for error is getting razor thin for the Hoyas. - Robert O'Neill

8


(15-9, 4-7)

-1

The Golden Eagles missed the boat on a crucial week of action. Despite spirited efforts in both contests, against Xavier especially, they fell just short of the mark and went 0-2. Their hopes of making a surprise run to the NCAA Tournament have dwindled and likely now rely on a big run at MSG. - Chris Novak

9


(8-15, 2-9)
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Dave Leitao had a plan: play physical and stop Kris Dunn, and it worked to perfection as DePaul outplayed the 11th ranked team in the nation on Thursday. The process is coming along, slowly but surely, and wins like this only builds the confidence in what Leitao is trying to build  - Pierce Roberson

10


(7-17, 0-11)

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The Johnnies are Owen-Eleven in Big East play, and their 13-game losing streak is tried for the longest active one in Division I. Some high spots? St. John's trailed Villanova by one at halftime, and gave Xavier a fight the whole way. St. John's might not be winning, but they're definitely not going down swinging either - Pierce Roberson


Seton Hall doin' Work

Derrick Gordon and Seton Hall outlasted Georgetown down the stretch Saturday in a 69-61 victory. How do they celebrate? With some Rihanna, of course.

Thankfully I'm not the only one who thinks ANTI is freaking fuego!!! *FIRE EMOJIS*

Storming the Crowd

If you didn't know, DePaul won. They beat the 11th ranked team in the country in Providence, so it's kind of a big deal. There weren't enough students attending the game to storm the court, so the players took it upon themselves to bring the party to the student section

The scene will look much different when they cut the ribbon on their new arena in the city in a few years.

Alum of the Week

This week's Big East Alum of the Week never actually played in the Big East. Big whoop, wanta fight about it? Gordon Hayward has been playing very well as of late, despite six turnovers in Friday's win over the Bucks, and he has the Utah Jazz on a six-game winning streak, and in great position to snag a playoff seed in the West. Gordon dominated the Bulls for 27 points and 12 rebounds in an overtime win, clinched a win over the Nuggets with two clutch free throws late in the game, and notched another 20-point-plus performance against the Suns.

*An update on Marquette alum and Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler: ESPN reports he will not play tonight against the Hornets with a knee strain, and is doubtful Wednesday vs. the Hawks.