Last week, I listed Butler and Seton Hall as co-title favorites, and this week, I believe the Pirates have separated themselves. I don’t think too much has changed within in the conference as a whole, but here’s a quick look at their biggest risers and fallers.
Biggest Risers: Seton Hall
- The Pirates are essentially the conference’s biggest riser due to their 9-game winning streak and head-to-head win over Butler, last week’s co-favorite. While I don’t think their conference championship odds increased tremendously, they have separated themselves from the field with a 7-0 Big East record, and so they earn the honor of biggest riser this week.
Biggest Fallers: Butler, St. Johns
- The Bulldogs are the new Ohio State of college basketball. After achieving a top-5 ranking, Butler has lost three straight games, one at home, and another one to an unranked opponent – quite possibly the worst Big East team in DePaul. It has been a horrific stretch for the Bulldogs. They’re still getting in the tournament, but I regard them as a clear second to Seton Hall in the conference with Villanova closing in behind them.
- St. Johns prospects in the Big East were already pretty glum, and they dropped again this week. The Red Storm have lost another three straight Big East games after finally taking down DePaul for their first conference victory; they have kept some big games close, but ultimately, the lack of results is going to doom this team. Sitting at 11-2 entering conference play, St. Johns has crashed to 12-8 and is now looking like an afterthought in both the conference and national picture.
- Right now, my prediction is for 5 teams from the Big East to make the tournament, with Seton Hall, Villanova, Butler, Marquette, and Creighton representing the conference.
- 3 teams are on the wrong side of the bubble, but still have a path to the tournament: Xavier, Providence, Georgetown.
- I am declaring 2 teams officially dead in the NCAA tournament race: St. Johns and DePaul.
- Marquette @ #13 Butler
- #9 Villanova @ Providence
- Xavier @ Creighton