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This Week in the Big East: November 21

What’s on tap for your favorite conference this week? Let’s find out!

Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Things We Loved Last Week

I’m debuting a new section this week. Here you’ll find my personal favorite moments and things I’m thinking about from the last week in the Big East.

Let’s get started.

Seton Hall knocks off #4 Michigan at the Crisler Center

This may be the single most impressive victory of the season by any team in college basketball. Yes, UCLA beat #4 Villanova, but they did it at home. And UCLA was expected to be that good. Seton Hall started the year unranked, although that will certainly change on Monday, and they played with great toughness in an intense road environment. Jared Rhoden lived up to his First Team All-Big East billing on Tuesday night. Not many teams can do down 11 at Michigan and bounce back to win, especially a Michigan team as good as this year’s group is projected to be. The Pirates just put the rest of the Big East on notice.

Xavier Trolls Ohio State Fans by Playing ‘Hail to the Victors,’ then Beats Ohio State to Win Gavitt Tipoff for Big East

Here’s a two-parter. First, Xavier played the alma mater of Michigan, ‘Hail to the Victors,’ while showing Ohio State fans on the scoreboard on Thursday. That’s some high-quality trolling right there. A+.

The Musketeers followed that up by beating Ohio State and ending a 32-game win-streak for the Buckeyes against in-state opponents. Oh, and it gave the Big East their first win of the Gavitt Tipoff Challenge since it’s inception. Hat tip to DePaul for putting the cherry on top by beating Rutgers later that night as well.

Kam Jones Explodes at Charles Classic

Kam Jones, a true freshman who was recruited by Steve Wojciechowski to come to Marquette and stayed after the coaching change, hit back-to-back threes to put the Golden Eagles ahead for good against West Virginia. In the first two games of the Charleston Classic, he’s hit 6 threes and scored 30 points. Not bad for an unheralded true freshman in the spotlight for the first time. We shall watch his career with great interest.

Shaka Smart

It’s hard to tell which is the bigger story: the Big East winning the Gavitt Games, or the resurgence of the Golden Eagles. Under Shaka Smart, Marquette showed renewed energy this week and posted a 3-0 record. All three victories involved a comeback from down double-digits. All three were upset bids. There’s ten coaches a lot more scared to head out to Fiserv Forum this season than they were a month ago, that’s for sure.

Ed Cooley Finds Out Marquette Beat Illinois

I’ll wrap this up by going back to the start of the week for a wholesome moment. During his post-game press conference after Providence defeated Wisconsin, Ed Cooley was told Marquette had knocked off Illinois earlier in the night. His reaction will certainly put a smile on your face.

Scores and Recaps

Monday, November 15

Marquette 67, Illinois 66

Providence 63, Wisconsin 58

Tuesday, November 16

Villanova 100, Howard 81

Creighton 77, Nebraska 69

Georgetown 79, American 57

Seton Hall 67, Michigan 65

Wednesday, November 17

UConn 93, LIU 40

Michigan State 73, Butler 52

Indiana 76, St. John’s 74

Thursday, November 18

Xavier 71, Ohio State 65

Providence 69, New Hampshire 58

Marquette 78, Ole Miss 72

Rutgers 70, DePaul 73

Friday, November 19

Creighton 78, Brown 57

Georgetown 83, Siena 65

Marquette 82, West Virginia 71

Saturday, November 20

UConn 87, Binghamton 63

Villanova 71, Tennessee 53

St. John’s 87, Fairleigh Dickinson 74

DePaul 84, Western Illinois 80


In the Rankings

Big East Rankings

School Record AP Coaches KenPom T-Rank
School Record AP Coaches KenPom T-Rank
Villanova 3-1 5 4 8 10
UConn 4-0 23 23 21 13
Seton Hall 3-0 RV(7) 29 18
Xavier 3-0 RV (12) RV (1) 33 28
St. John's 3-1 RV (4) 47 57
Creighton 4-0 RV (7) 56 71
Providence 4-0 70 49
Marquette 5-0 71 80
Butler 3-1 RV (1) 74 97
Georgetown 2-1 87 145
DePaul 4-0 124 107
Rankings as of 11/21

Stock Rising

Marquette Golden Eagles

Marquette went 3-0 this week, beating Illinois, Ole Miss, and West Virginia. Their Kenpom ranking shot up from 95 to 71 since last week. No team’s stock is rising faster than the Golden Eagles.

Seton Hall Pirates

Seton Hall’s win at Michigan launched them to the forefront of the conversation about the second best team in the Big East. Jared Rhoden is the real deal for them, and Bryce Aiken finally seemed to be the guy Seton Hall fans expected last year.

Providence Friars

Providence is 4-0 to start the season for the first time since 2015-16, which is also the last time they won in the Gavitt Games. Ed Cooley’s veteran lineup seems poised to avoid some of the early season missteps that have plagued the Friars in recent years.

Stock Falling

Butler and St. John’s

These two schools were the only Big East teams to lose in the Gavitt Games, and therefore they find themselves in this spot. All in favor to put their conference membership on probation?


The Schedule

All times Eastern

Sunday, November 21

Norfolk State at Xavier, 12:00, FS1

Villanova vs Purdue, 1:00, ABC

Colorado State vs Creighton, 5:45, ESPN

St. Bonaventure vs Marquette, 7:30, ESPN

Monday, November 22

Creighton vs TBD, TBA, ESPN3

Butler at Houston, 4:30, ESPN2

Ohio State vs Seton Hall, 6:00, FS1

Providence vs Northwestern, 9:30, ESPN+

Tuesday, November 23

Butler vs Texas A&M/Wisconsin, 2:30/5:00, ESPN/ESPN2

Providence vs Georgia/Virginia, 5:00/7:30, ESPN2

St. Francis Brooklyn at St. John’s, 7:00, FS2

Wednesday, November 24

Butler vs TBD, TBA, TBA

UConn vs Auburn, 2:30, ESPN

Seton Hall vs Cal/Florida, 6:00/8:30, FS1

Xavier vs Iowa State, 7:00, ESPNU

Thursday, November 25

UConn vs Michigan State/Loyola-Chicago, 12:00/2:30, ESPN/ESPN2

Georgetown vs San Diego State, 11:30, ESPN2

Friday, November 26

UConn vs TBD, TBA, TBD

Northern Kentucky at DePaul, 5:00, FS2

Georgetown vs TBA, 9:00, TBA

Xavier vs Memphis/Virginia Tech, 7:00/9:30, TBA

Saturday, November 27

Saint Peter’s at Providence, 12:00, FS2

NJIT at St. John’s, 4:00, FS2

SIU Edwardsville at Creighton, 6:00, FS2

Northern Illinois at Marquette, 8:00, FS2

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! With the holiday comes quite a few tournaments this week, and therefore a wonky looking schedule. There’s going to be a lot of quality basketball all week long, but we’ll jump right to the game of the week.

BECB Game of the Week

UConn vs Auburn

Wednesday, 2:30; ESPN

It’s an open competition for the second spot in the Big East this year. Xavier knocked off Ohio State last week. Seton Hall won at Michigan. Marquette went 3-0 against top 60 opponents. The Huskies, on the other hand, have yet to play anyone outside the fourth quadrant. That changes on Wednesday against Auburn. This will be the first big test for Dan Hurley this season, and it comes right before Thanksgiving. This will be one to sit back and enjoy. Let’s get to the predictions.

Matt St. Jean: Auburn is a good team, but they are every bit as unproven as UConn. The Huskies have dominated everyone they’ve played. Give me UConn in this one.

Tommy Godin: This UConn-Auburn game is going to be electric, and is easily the game of the week in the Big East. Both teams will be coming into this matchup looking to notch their first notable win of the season in the first round of the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament this week. UConn’s strength is their versatility and depth which is a good combination for a depleted Auburn roster. I like UConn in what could be the game of the tournament.


Stat of the Week

Javon Freeman-Liberty of DePaul had his second double-double of the season Saturday night. He scored a new career-high with 33 points and added 11 rebounds. That’s a dominant performance that deserves recognition.

Big East Basketball

Loyola hands DePaul their first loss of the season, 68-64

Big East Basketball

Creighton plays host to #19 Iowa State: Preview, how to watch, odds

Marquette

Davis leads #23 Wisconsin past Marquette