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NCAA Basketball: DePaul at Villanova

This Week in the Big East: 1/18-1/24

What you need to know this week

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week in the Big East

Monday, January 11

UConn 60, DePaul 53 - Recap

Tuesday, January 12

St. John’s 69, Butler 57

Marquette 79, Providence 69 - Recap

Saturday, January 16

Marquette 73, St. John’s 71 - Recap

Butler 70, Creighton 66

DePaul 77, Valparaiso 58 - Recap

Big East Player of the Week

Julian Champagnie, St. John’s, F, So.

Big East Freshman of the Week

Dawson Garcia, Marquette, F, Fr.

Big East Honor Roll

Myles Tate, Butler, G, Fr.

Tyrese Martin, Connecticut, F, Jr.

Denzel Mahoney, Creighton, G-F, Sr.

Romeo Weems, DePaul, F, So.

D.J. Carton, Marquette, G, So.

The Schedule

All times Eastern

Monday, January 18

St. John’s at #23 UConn, 2:30 P.M, FOX

Tuesday, January 19

Butler at DePaul, 7:00 P.M, CBS Sports

Seton Hall at #3 Villanova, 9:00 P.M, FS1

Wednesday, January 20

Providence at #11 Creighton, 9:00 P.M, FS1

Friday, January 22

Seton Hall at Butler, 9:00 P.M, FS1

Saturday, January 16

#23 UConn at #11 Creighton, 2:30 P.M, FOX

DePaul at Marquette, 6:00 P.M, FS1

Providence at #3 Villanova, 8:00 P.M, FS1

Villanova is scheduled to return to action this week for the first time since December, but COVID has caused adjustments around the conference this week. Xavier and Georgetown are both paused right now, resulting in both teams’ games this Wednesday being postponed.

The week starts with an afternoon meeting between St. John’s and UConn in Storrs. Big East Player of the Week Julian Champagnie headlines this matchup with James Bouknight still out for the Huskies. This is the first meeting between these two teams in eight years.

Tuesday night features a Big East doubleheader. DePaul, looking for their first conference win, will host Butler, fresh off an upset victory over Creighton, in the early game. After, Villanova plays for the first time since December, taking on Seton Hall.

The lone game Wednesday night showcases the Creighton Bluejays and Providence Friars. Creighton had a six game winning streak snapped last time out, while Providence has lost three straight in a skid that started against the Bluejays at the beginning of January. Two of the last three between these schools have come down to the last possession, so this is sure to be a nail biter.

It’s another late night game on Friday, this time between Seton Hall and Butler. The Pirates will be looking for a season sweep over Butler after knocking them off once already earlier this season.

There’s a trio of tip-offs on the schedule for Saturday. First, UConn heads to Omaha looking to avenge the Huskies’ only loss this season. In their first ever meeting in December, Creighton got the best of UConn in overtime, despite a 40-point performance from James Bouknight. Without their star, with the Huskies be able to pull the upset? Next up, Marquette plays host to DePaul. The Golden Eagles will be looking for their third consecutive victory on Saturday. Finally, Providence plays at Villanova. Last season, the Friars were able to pick up a win at Villanova in a low-scoring battle. Will they be able to find that magic yet again?

Game of the Week

Saturday, January 23

#23 UConn at #11 Creighton, 2:30 P.M, FOX

When these two met earlier this season, it took a Herculean effort from James Bouknight to keep the Huskies close. It wasn’t enough, however, and Creighton took the game 76-74 in overtime.

Dan Hurley is going to need the rest of his team to step up if UConn wants to pull off the upset. Bouknight has been sidelined by injury and will not play in the rematch. However, Tyler Polley, Big East Player of the Week after his 23 points against Marquette, was not available in the initial meeting between these two teams. Can he and the rest of the Huskies fill the void of Bouknight and give Creighton a scare?

Creighton has been one of the best teams in all of college basketball, and I think they’ll take this one. Creighton 77, UConn 68 is my prediction.

In the Rankings

Rankings as of January 18

Not much change here. Villanova stays at 3, with Creighton moving back to 11 after the loss to Butler and UConn sliding up to 23.

Stat of the Week

Julian Champagnie has more than doubled his scoring from 9.9 points per game as a freshman to 20.7 per game so far in his sophomore season. The reigning Big East Player of the Week leads the conference in scoring average and has six 20-point performances this season.

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