by Dan Gardella

After a bit of time off, there has been plenty of time between polls and there is plenty of catching up to do. 


Last Week’s Rankings

  1. Creighton (+1) 
  2. Seton Hall (-1)
  3. Villanova (+1) 
  4. Marquette (-)
  5. Georgetown (+2) 
  6. Providence (-)
  7. Xavier (-2)
  8. Butler (-)
  9. St. John’s (-)
  10. DePaul (-) 


This Week’s Rankings 

  1.  Creighton (-)
  2. Seton Hall (-)
  3. Villanova (-)
  4.  Providence (+2) 
  5. Marquette (-1)
  6. Xavier (+1) 
  7. Georgetown (-2)
  8. Butler (-)
  9. St. John’s (-)
  10. DePaul (-)






The Friars have been surging over the past week and a half. Providence’s bouncing bubble chances have been more back and forth than any team in the country. The three game winning streak began two weeks ago, with Ed Cooly’s bunch knocking off Seton Hall at home. They then followed it up with wins against Georgetown and Marquette to improve to 9-6 in Big East play, which is good for fourth in the conference. 


The Friars are sitting in a good position to clinch the fourth seed in the Big East Tournament and get a bye into the quarterfinals, which seemed unlikely two weeks ago. Provided the Friars can finish off the regular season strong and have a good showing in the Big East Tournament, their mix of Quad 1 and Quad 2 wins will have the Friars dancing. 




Like Providence, Xavier has emerged as another team that is playing their way into the NCAA Tournament. Winners of five of their last seven games, the Musketeers turned a 1-4 start into a possibility of a .500 conference record. Following a last-second win at St. John’s the team dropped a nine-point decision to Villanova at home. They bounced back with a win against DePaul at home. 


What’s left on their schedule before the Big East Tournament are a pair of road games against Georgetown and Providence before hosting Butler to close out the regular season. A 3-0 or 2-1 slate puts the Musketeers at .500 or better in the Big East heading into the conference tournament. It is safe to say Xavier is in a good position to avoid sweating a lot on Selection Sunday.    





It seemed that Georgetown was in a position to sneak into the NCAA Tournament just two weeks ago. Three straight losses later, it is looking more likely that the Hoyas are NIT bound rather than the Big Dance. This past week, losses to DePaul and Marquette on the road dropped Patrick Ewing’s team to 15-13 overall and 5-10 in conference play. No team has been hit with more bad luck than the Hoyas. After losing James Akinjo and Josh LeBlanc, Mac McClung has been battling injuries throughout conference play. 


Their remaining schedule is not favorable either. They take on Xavier, Creighton, and Villanova to finish the regular season. Anything better than a 1-2 split would be positive momentum going to New York. 




The fall of Butler continues. The losing skid has hit three for the Bulldogs, who continue to struggle defensively. Now below .500 in the Big East, LaVall Jordan’s team needs a win desperately. Over the second half of conference play, Butler has won just two of their last seven games. The inconsistency offensively has been a problem that the defense cannot seem to make up the difference.  


As of now, they sit as the six seed in the Big East Tournament with a matchup with Villanova looming. While that can change, Butler can improve their standing against DePaul, St. John’s, and Xavier, three of the bottom four teams in the conference.