The students' perspective on Villanova Sports.

Big East Basketball Schedule, Forecast, and Predictions (Week of 1/25)

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 6.55.53 PM

-Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Last week was a rough one when it came to picks and predictions. We’ll try to redeem ourselves this week. Here are the standings entering Monday:

#6 Villanova (17-3, 7-1)
#7 Xavier (17-2, 5-2)
#10 Providence (17-3, 5-2)
Creighton (14-6, 5-2)
Georgetown (12-8, 5-2)
Seton Hall (13-6, 3-4)
Marquette (13-7, 3-5)
Butler (13-6, 3-4)
DePaul (7-12, 1-6)
St. John’s (6-12, 0-7)

Eugene Rapay and Patrick Ciapciak preview the games to watch for:

Game of the Week: #7 Xavier at #10 Providence, Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. on FS1

Eugene: After the big win over Villanova on Sunday, Providence has another big test waiting for it. However, this time around the Friars will be able to return to the comfort of their home arena to take on Xavier. This will be the first meeting between both teams. Providence has the best one-two punch in the conference with Ben Bentil and Kris Dunn. Dunn showed in the win against Villanova that he’s content with not scoring much if he’s racking up assists and setting him his teammates. The Musketeers are going to need a solid all-around team performance to pull out a win at the Dunk. James Farr had one of his best performances as a Musketeer, posting 24 points and 15 rebounds in the bounce back win against Seton Hall. They’ll need him to produce on both ends of the court to counter what Bentil has to offer. However, I don’t think Xavier will have enough to muster this one on the road. The Musketeers may be the one-point favorite according to Vegas, but I see them losing by a few. My Pick: Providence 68, Xavier 63

Patrick: It was only a matter of time before we’d be treated to another top-ten Big East matchup. In this meet between two resurgent squads, Providence’s recent defeat of Villanova looms large. It could be said that the Friars finally carved their winning strategy on that court in South Philadelphia. That strategy is get the ball to Ben Bentil and Kris Dunn, who need to play the entire game to beat Xavier. The Musketeers may be reeling from their upset at the hands of Georgetown, but don’t overlook their win against Seton Hall. Coach Chris Mack has said his Xaverian squad is probably the best team in the country. Ed Cooley and his Friars will have something to say about that. My pick: Providence 77, Xavier 72

And here’s two more:

Butler at Marquette, Saturday at 12 p.m. on FS1

Eugene: Butler is a strange, strange team. The Bulldogs have shown that they can hang with some of the best out there and have gotten a few good wins under their belt. However, they also have compiled a number of head scratching losses. This is the first time Butler has been out of the rankings this season. On the other end, Marquette was finally able to overcome a three-game losing streak with a win against St. John’s on Sunday. Both teams are about even, with three wins each in conference play. The Golden Eagles have a great front court in Henry Ellenson and Luke Fischer, while the Bulldogs boast strong guard play in Kellen Dunham and Roosevelt Jones. In this one, I’m taking size. My Pick: Marquette 65, Butler 59

Patrick: Marquette has lost its last three out of four, including an embarrassing home loss to DePaul. Butler has lost its last five out of seven, precipitating a fall first from the top ten, then top twenty, then the AP polls altogether. When bad losing streaks plague two good teams like these, something has to give. Henry Ellenson has yet to deliver on his innate promise to return his hometown’s Golden Eagles to Buzz Williams Era greatness. He will have to wait until another day, as Butler is a much better team than their third-worst in the conference standing. Expect a dog fight in Milwaukee, with the visitors on top. My pick: Butler 65, Marquette 60

Creighton at Georgetown, Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. on FS1

Eugene: These two teams are deceptively good. With Villanova, Xavier, and Providence taking most of the attention, these two teams have flown under the radar. Both teams are 5-2 in the Big East. Creighton beat Georgetown rather comfortably in their first meeting. I like the Bluejays’ overall depth. They are headlined by Maurice Watson Jr.Geoffrey Groselle, and Isaiah Zierden. Numbers will give them an advantage over Georgetown, which seemingly is run by the D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera show. He’s proven to be a very talented player over the last few years, but the Hoyas are going to need him to really carry them. However, Creighton isn’t that great of a team on the road, with a 3-3 record going out of town. This will be a close one. My Pick: Creighton 64, Georgetown 60

Patrick: Upsets turn a season around. First, Georgetown became the first team to win in the Cintas Center this season to spoil Xavier’s first week as a top five team. Then Creighton defeated Butler to send them out of the top 25 for the first time this season. Only one team can convert their upset momentum into a subsequent conference victory. Will team leader D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera be able to smooth out the Hoyas’ consistency problems? Will Creighton’s bench continue to rise to occasion on the road? My pick: Creighton 69, Georgetown 68

The rest of the Big East games this week:

Wednesday, January 27
DePaul at Butler, 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
St. John’s at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. on FS1
Stetson at Marquette, 9 p.m. on FS1

Saturday, January 30
#7 Xavier at DePaul, 2 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
Seton Hall at Creighton, 8 p.m. on Fox Sports Net
#10 Providence at Georgetown, 8 p.m. on FS1

Sunday, January 31
#6 Villanova at St. John’s, 12 p.m. on FS1

Quick Picks:

Eugene
Record Last Week: 4-5
Overall: 18-9
Patrick
Record Last Week: 3-6
Overall: 18-9
Butler  Butler
Seton Hall Seton Hall
Marquette Marquette
Xavier  Xavier
Creighton  Creighton
Providence  Providence
Villanova Villanova

 

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About The Author

Eugene Rapay '16 created "The Bench Mob" in November 2013. He joined the Villanova Times in 2012 as a writer. A Westchester, NY native, who will bring top quality coverage of all things Villanova sports.

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