The students' perspective on Villanova Sports.

Big East Basketball Schedule, Forecast, and Predictions (Week of 2/1)

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-Kyle Tizio/VUBenchMob.com

It’s hard to believe it’s already February. Last week’s games marked the halfway mark of Big East play. Moving in to this week, this is where each team stands:

#3 Villanova (18-3, 8-1)
#6 Xavier (19-2, 7-2)
#11 Providence (18-4, 6-3)
Georgetown (13-9, 6-3)
Seton Hall (15-6, 5-4)
Creighton (14-8, 5-4)
Marquette (15-7, 4-5)
Butler (14-7, 3-6)
DePaul (7-14, 1-8)
St. John’s (7-15, 0-9)

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

Game of the Week: #3 Villanova at #11 Providence, Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on FS1

Eugene: We would be remiss to not have this game be the Game of the Week, considering the implications surrounding it. It’s the lone top 25 matchup amongst Big East teams. Also, the last time these two teams met, it was an overtime thriller. However, the odds are stacked against Villanova. For starters, Providence won the last meeting mainly through the play of Ben Bentil, who had NBA prospect Kris Dunn setting him up. Bentil scored 31 points and grabbed 13 boards in the win. For now, Daniel Ochefu‘s status isn’t looking so good heading into Saturday’s game. According to Villanova’s concussion protocol, he’s already ruled out for Wednesday night’s game. Even if Ochefu does return, I just don’t see Villanova being able to pull off the win on the road. He may make it a closer game, but it can get out of hand without him. My pick: Providence 77, Villanova 70

Patrick: What’s not to love? This game may be one spot away from a top ten matchup, but it certainly feels like one at the least. Villanova is all too familiar with Providence, having lost to the Friars exactly two weeks before their Saturday matchup at the Dunkin Donuts Center. Will Jay Wright have an answer to Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil, the nation’s best one-two punch, this time around? Coach Ed Cooley’s squad may have just lost at home to Xavier, but this game is the perfect chance to redeem themselves. Even if Daniel Ochefu passes concussion protocol before Saturday, there’s still a good chance he can’t cover Bentil enough to neutralize the big man, and besides, no one can cover Kris Dunn on their own anyway. My pick: Providence 72, Villanova 70

And here’s two more:

Marquette at Seton Hall, Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. on FS1

Eugene: Sure Villanova, Xavier, and Providence have pretty much secured the top spots of the Big East, but these two teams are a part of a close middle of the pack race that can help decide seeding in the conference tournament down the road. Both teams have some good wins under their belt, and the Pirates currently sit one game ahead of the Golden Eagles. While Seton Hall plays tough at home, the Golden Eagles are riding a three-game winning streak behind three straight double-doubles by freshman phenom Henry Ellenson. Ellenson is coming off of his best game yet, scoring 32 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the win over Butler. The Pirates embarrassed the Golden Eagles at home to start Big East play, this time around a refined Marquette will get even on the road. My Pick: Marquette 68, Seton Hall 64

Patrick: Marquette is seeking revenge for an embarrassing home loss to Seton Hall to open Big East play, and with a current three game win streak, now is the time to exact vengeance. Seton Hall, currently projected as an 11 seed, is looking to rout the Warriors before their big Saturday night fight against Georgetown. Coach Kevin Willard will make sure his team is not looking forward and Big East player of the week Isaiah Whitehead will do the rest. My pick: Seton Hall 87, Marquette 71

Georgetown at Butler, Tuesday at 7 p.m. on FS1

Eugene: Butler is trying to stop its downward spiral out of control. Meanwhile, the Hoyas are quietly doing pretty well for themselves in conference play. After a rough out-of-conference schedule, Georgetown has bounced back with a 6-3 record in the Big East ever since, enough to tie Providence. Both teams are out to prove something. For Georgetown, it’s about being able to hang with the best, while Butler avoids further fading away into being irrelevant. The Hoyas have looked good, even in their losses against the upper echelon of the Big East. Hinkle magic shouldn’t be the hardest thing they’ve faced all season. My Pick: Georgetown 68, Butler 63

Patrick: Now that it’s finally February, we (mostly ESPN) can start freaking out about bubble teams. Georgetown and Butler can brag similarly impressive resumes at this point in the season, but their losses make them bubble teams if there ever was some. Can Georgetown recover from its loss against surging Providence with a solid road victory like they did at Xavier two weeks ago? Can Butler claw its way out of the Big East basement to prove they are as good as their nonconference record? I see Butler continuing to slide downwards with another loss to the Better Bulldogs of Georgetown. My pick: Georgetown 74, Butler 70

The rest of the Big East games this week:

Tuesday, February 2
#11 Providence at DePaul, 9 p.m. on FS1

Wednesday, February 3
St. John’s at #6 Xavier, 6:30 p.m. on FS1
Creighton at #3 Villanova, 8 p.m. on CBS Sports Network

Saturday, February 6
Marquette at #6 Xavier, 12 p.m. on FS1
DePaul at Creighton, 2 p.m. on Fox Sports Net
Butler at St. John’s, 4:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Net
Georgetown at Seton Hall, 9 p.m. on CBS Sports Network

Quick Picks:

Eugene
Record Last Week: 7-3
Overall: 25-12
Patrick
Record Last Week: 6-4
Overall: 24-13
Providence Providence
Xavier Xavier
Villanova Villanova
Xavier Xavier
Creighton Creighton
Butler Butler
Seton Hall Seton Hall

 

 

 

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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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