BIG EAST Power Rankings - Jan. 9
1. Villanova (15-1, 3-1)
Last Week's Ranking: 1
Villanova was the latest victim of Hinkle Magic as Butler became the first team to take down the reigning national champions. However the Cats are still worthy of the No. 1 spot and have nothing to be ashamed of by going 1-1 on the road at No. 10 Creighton and No. 18 Butler.
They got back in the win column Saturday, beating Marquette 93-81 at the Wells Fargo Center. Jalen Brunson continues to make a case for BIG EAST First Team and averaged 19.5 points on 61% shooting in the two games.
The Cats shot the ball exceptionally well against the Golden Eagles, connecting on 14-23 attempts (61%) from deep, including six from Kris Jenkins.
2. Creighton (15-1, 3-1)
Last Week's Ranking: 2
Yes, Creighton lost to Villanova at home and Butler beat Villanova at home, but I still believe the Jays have the edge for the No. 2 spot. They bounced back with two impressive road wins last week and still have just one loss on the season.
Things are really coming together for 7’0 freshman Justin Patton, who is opening eyes all over the country. In a win over St. John’s, he erupted for 25 points and nine rebounds, treating the crowd in Queens to an array of thunderous dunks and even a three-pointer.
Maurice Watson Jr. continues to be as impressive of a point guard as there is in the nation. He had 19 points and 5 assists against St. John’s and 11 points and 14 assists against Providence.
T3. Butler (14-2, 3-1)
Last Week's Ranking: 4
Last week Butler shocked the college basketball world once again, beating No. 1 Villanova 66-58 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. But the result shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. It marked the third Top 10 win for the Dawgs, who knocked off #8 Arizona and #9 Indiana earlier this season. They followed it up with a gritty, come-from-behind overtime win at Georgetown Saturday.
Guard Kamar Baldwin has been one of the most impressive freshmen in the conference and constantly makes impact plays on both ends of the floor. He converted a steal to an and-1 layup to help seal the win over Villanova and had 16 points, 5 rebounds and 4 steals against the Hoyas.
The Dawgs will really see where the stand in the conference this week as they travel to Creighton Wednesday and host Xavier Saturday.
T3. Xavier (13-2, 3-0)
Last Week's Ranking: 3
Xavier continues to roll and is now the only BIG EAST team without a conference loss. The Musketeers haven't faced any ranked conference opponents yet, but they have been dominant in their first three games, winning by an average of 15.3 points.
But things get real very quickly. In maybe the toughest stretch any BIG EAST team will face all season, Xavier travels to Villanova and Butler this week and then hosts Creighton next Monday.
Saturday Chris Mack announced that senior guard Myles Davis has been reinstated to the program. If he returns to the level he played at last season, Davis will greatly help Xavier’s three-point shooting and will add depth and leadership to an already stacked backcourt.
5. Seton Hall (12-3, 2-1)
Last Week's Ranking: 5
Seton Hall played just once this week but steamrolled DePaul 87-56 at the Prudential Center. Desi Rodriguez was outstanding and scored 25 points on 10-13 shooting in just 24 minutes. He had 23 points in the first half.
Angel Delgado finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds and is now up to nine consecutive double-doubles. In a conference that is stalked with talented backcourts but lacking in true centers, Delgado will give the Pirates a strong chance to beat any of the four teams listed above.