BIG EAST Power Rankings - Dec. 12
1. Villanova (10-0)
Last Week's Ranking: 1
Things looked shaky in the first half for Villanova against No. 23 Notre Dame as they fell behind by 11 points. Then Josh Hart single-handedly took over the game. The National Player of the Year candidate finished with 37 points on 10-14 shooting and added 11 rebounds and 4 assists.
This was the most impressive win of the young season for Villanova, who proved they have the intangibles to find ways to win games when some of their stars are having off-nights. Hart is simply unstoppable right now. This is going to be a tough team to beat from now until April.
2. Creighton (10-0)
Last Week's Ranking: 2
Creighton had yet another statement win as they handed rival Nebraska a 15-point loss in Lincoln. They then scored 113 points, a CenturyLink Center record, en route to a 55-point win over Longwood. This team is simply rolling.
The Jays are going to be very difficult to beat because of their scoring depth. Seven different players scored in double figures last week. They should be 12-0 when they open up BIG EAST play on 12/28.
3. Xavier (8-2)
Last Week's Ranking: 3
Xavier lost back-to-back games for the first time since the 2014-2015 season after falling on the road 68-66 to Colorado. But the Musketeers got back on track Saturday with a 77-69 win over Utah to remain undefeated at the Cintas Center.
The Baylor and Colorado losses showed the Musketeers have to find other ways to score when their perimeter shots aren’t falling. RaShid Gaston is one answer. The senior transfer is becoming more comfortable on the floor and had 11 points and 14 rebounds against Utah.
4. Butler (9-1)
Last Week's Ranking: 4
Butler suffered their first loss of the season in a one-point heartbreaker at regional rival Indiana State. They quickly bounced back at Hinkle with a 10-point win over the always-tough Cincinnati Bearcats.
Kelan Martin surprisingly came off the bench to score 20 for the Bulldogs, who have six players averaging at least 8 points per game. Point guard Tyler Lewis has been excellent with 20 assists to just 4 turnovers in the last four games.
5. Seton Hall (7-2)
Last Week's Ranking: 5
At times it wasn’t the prettiest, but Seton Hall left the Pearl Harbor Invitational with two much-needed wins against Hawaii and Cal. Angel Delgado continued his strong play and now has three straight double-doubles. He averaged 17 points and 12.3 rebounds in those three games.
The Pirates’ three-point shooting has been streaky and will need to be tightened up before BIG EAST play. They shot just 3-11 against Cal and are shooting 35% on the season. They have an opportunity to make some noise tonight as they take on No. 16 South Carolina at the Barclays Center.