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NCAA Basketball: DePaul at Villanova

This Week in the Big East: 1/25-1/31

What you need to know heading into this week.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week in the Big East

Monday, January 18

St. John’s 74, UConn 70

Tuesday, January 19

Butler 67, DePaul 53

Villanova 76, Seton Hall 74

Wednesday January 20

Providence 74, Creighton 70

Saturday, January 23

Creighton 74, UConn 66

Villanova 71, Providence 56

St. John’s 96, Utah Valley 78

DePaul 68, Marquette 61

Big East Player of the Week

Jermaine Samuels, Villanova, F, Sr.

Big East Freshman of the Week

Posh Alexander, St. John’s, G, Fr.

Big East Honor Roll

Jair Bolden, Butler, G, Gr.

Damien Jefferson, Creighton, F, Sr.

Charlie Moore, DePaul, G, Sr.

Nate Watson, Providence, F, Sr.

Julian Champagnie, St. John’s, G-F, So.

The Schedule

All times Eastern

Tuesday, January 26

Butler at UConn, 8:30 P.M, FS1

Wednesday, January 27

Marquette at Providence, 7:00 P.M, CBS Sports

St. John’s at DePaul, 9:00 P.M, FS1

Friday, January 29

Xavier at Butler, 6:30 P.M, FS1

Saturday, January 30

Providence at Georgetown, 12:00 P.M, FS1

Villanova at Seton Hall, 3:00 P.M, FOX

Creighton at DePaul, 8:00 P.M, CBS Sports

Sunday, January 31

UConn at St. John’s, 3:30 P.M, FOX

The week starts off with a matchup between UConn and Butler. The Huskies have dropped two straight, but they will have an opportunity to sweep the Bulldogs on Tuesday night.

Wednesday’s doubleheader opens with Providence returning home after four straight on the road. They’ll take on a Marquette team looking to bounce back from a home loss to DePaul. After that, St. John’s and Big East Freshman of the Week Posh Alexander travel to Chicago to face Dave Leitao’s Blue Demons. Fresh off their first win of Big East play, can DePaul string together back-to-back wins?

The lone game on Friday night features Xavier and Butler. The Musketeers are poised to return to action for the first time since January 10th due to COVID complications.

Saturday brings three games to the Big East schedule. Providence and Georgetown are up first. This is the first meeting between these two this season after their first game was postponed due to COVID issues at Georgetown. Next up, Villanova and Seton Hall square off again after a thrilling first matchup. The Pirates will be looking for revenge after a tough two-point loss at Villanova last week. Last up are Creighton and DePaul. This will be Creighton’s second in a row on the road and the second of a three-game homestand for DePaul.

St. John’s hosts UConn on Sunday to wrap up the week in the Big East. The Red Storm got the better of the Huskies last week to win their first game at UConn since 2001. Will they complete the sweep in the first year of the return of this classic rivalry?

Game of the Week

Saturday, January 30

Villanova at Seton Hall

This was an easy pick for game of the week. Villanova is the conference’s top dog, but they were a Hail Mary drop from Mamu from falling at home to Seton Hall last week. This presents a big opportunity for the Pirates to pick up a statement win for their resume. On the other hand, Villanova has yet to lose in conference play, and their offense shows no signs of slowing down. Providence held Jeremiah Robinson-Earl to under ten points on Saturday, and Jay Wright’s Wildcats still scored 47 in the second-half.

Until Villanova loses in Big East play, it’s hard to pick against them. Seton Hall has been inconsistent this year, and it’s tough to play the Wildcats close twice in the same season. I’m taking Jay Wright. Villanova 76, Seton Hall 62.

In the Rankings

As of January 25

Creighton and UConn are the big losers in the AP this week. Creighton fell from 11 to 17 after losing at Butler and then at home to Providence. Meanwhile, UConn dropped games to St. John’s and Creighton and fell out of the top 25.

Stat of the Week

Per Sports Reference, Xavier’s Nate Johnson is fourth in the nation in 3-point shooting percentage at 50.8%. Johnson is 32-63 this season from beyond the arc.

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