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NCAA Basketball: DePaul at Villanova

This Week in the Big East: 2/8-2/14

What you need to know this week!

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week in the Big East

Tuesday, February 2

Marquette 70, Butler 67

Wednesday, February 3

Seton Hall 60, Providence 43

Georgetown 86, Creighton 79

St. John’s 70, Villanova 59

Saturday, February 6

Butler 68, DePaul 58

Seton Hall 80, UConn 73

St. John’s 92, Providence 81

Creighton 71, Marquette 68

Sunday, February 7

Villanova 84, Georgetown 74

Player of the Week

Sandro Mamukelashvili, Seton Hall, F, Jr.

Freshman of the Week

Posh Alexander, St. John’s, G, Fr.

Honor Roll

Chuck Harris, Butler, G, Fr.

Qudus Wahab, Georgetown, C, So.

Christian Bishop, Creighton, F, Jr.

Julian Champagnie, St. John’s, F, So.

Jermaine Samuels, Villanova, F, Sr.

The Schedule

All times Eastern

Tuesday, February 9

St. John’s at Butler, 9:00 P.M, FS1

Creighton at Georgetown, 9:00 P.M, CBS Sports

Wednesday, February 10

UConn at Providence, 4:00 P.M, FS1

Marquette at Villanova, 9:00 P.M, FS1

Saturday, February 13

UConn at Xavier, 12:00 P.M, FOX

Butler at Georgetown, 1:30 P.M, CBS Sports

Villanova at Creighton, 5:00 P.M, FOX

Providence at DePaul, 8:00 P.M, FS1

Sunday, February 14

Marquette at Seton Hall, 3:00 P.M, FS1

With Selection Sunday less than a month away, the final push begins now!

Tuesday night features two games in the late slot. On FS1, St. John’s brings a six-game win streak to Indianapolis to take on Butler. The Red Storm already got the best of the Bulldogs back in January, taking that one by 12 points. On CBS Sports, Georgetown hosts Creighton after upsetting the Bluejays in Omaha last week. Qudus Wahab and the Hoyas will be looking for the unlikely season sweep.

Providence and UConn renew one of the most intense of the original Big East rivalries on Wednesday afternoon. The slumping Friars have lost three straight and need this win to keep any hopes of making the NCAA tournament alive. Can Ed Cooley work his late season magic yet again? Later that night, Villanova hosts Marquette. Villanova handled the Golden Eagles with ease at their building earlier this season.

UConn and Xavier are scheduled to open Big East action on Saturday, but Xavier’s program is currently on pause. We’ll see if this game gets played. Butler travels to Georgetown later that afternoon, and the Bulldogs will be looking to sweep the Hoyas. The crowning jewel of the week will be Villanova at Creighton in the evening slot. Finally, Providence and DePaul round out the night out in Chicago. These two went to double-overtime in their dramatic first meeting, so they may combine for another thriller!

If you’re planning on spending Valentine’s Day at home on the couch, make sure to flip over to FS1 to see Seton Hall host Marquette. Wojo and the Golden Eagles (that would be a great band name) desperately need something to go their way if they hope to make the NCAA tournament, while Seton Hall is hanging on as a bubble team at the moment. This should be a tense matchup between two schools that need the win.

Game of the Week

Saturday, February 13

Villanova at Creighton

This game is the obvious choice. The two top teams in the Big East meet for the first time this season on Saturday evening. This is simply a can’t-miss matchup.

At one end, Creighton has had one of the best offenses in college basketball all season, and that’s with Marcus Zegarowski dealing with injuries. The Bluejays’ entire starting lineup averages more than 10 points, more than 3 rebounds, and at least 1 assist per game. They get it done on defense, too, with the lowest effective field goal percentage allowed of any team in the Big East. Greg McDermott will be looking for his first win against Villanova in Omaha since 2018.

At the other end, Villanova has been a juggernaut this season. Their offense is top five in the NCAA, in large part because the Wildcats just don’t turn the ball over. In 14 games, Jay Wright’s team has turned the ball over just 9.2 times per game. Their turnover percentage is third best in the nation. Like Creighton, all five of Villanova’s starters are averaging in double-figures, too.

This is the most anticipated matchup of the season so far. When the two best teams in the Big East square off, everyone will be watching. Creighton is good, but I think Villanova takes this one.

My prediction: Villanova 79, Creighton 72

In the Rankings

Rankings as of February 8

It’s still Villanova and Creighton in the top 25 for now. Losses by both teams last week resulted in small drops in the polls. St. John’s is now receiving votes, thanks to their six game win streak. Providence and Marquette are now outside the top 70 on Kenpom and top 90 on NET.

Stat of the Week

Creighton is first in the Big East in shooting percentage, but just eighth in free throw shooting percentage. How about that.

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