World-Herald staff writer Steven Pivovar ranks the Big East men's basketball teams (with national RPI rankings from NCAA.com).
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1. Creighton (18-3, 8-1, 8th)
This week: DePaul, at St. John's. Doug McDermott needs eight field goals to become the first player with 1,000 in his career since the 1992-93 season.
2. Villanova (20-2, 8-1, 4th)
This week: Seton Hall, at DePaul. Last two times Wildcats started 20-2 they ended up being a No. 2 seed (2010) and making the Elite Eight (2006).
3. St. John's (14-9, 4-6, 75th)
This week: Creighton. Poor start killed championship hopes but physically gifted Red Storm emerging as best of the bunch behind leaders.
4. Providence (16-7, 6-4, 37th)
This week: at Xavier, at Georgetown. Friars fattened record with early home wins but playing five of last eight on road could deflate NCAA tournament hopes.
5. Seton Hall (13-9, 4-5, 121st)
This week: at Villanova, Marquette. The Pirates' home-wrecking ways have put an end to home-court winning streaks by Xavier (13), Providence (13) and Georgetown (16).
6. Xavier (16-6, 5-4, 36th)
This week: Providence, at Butler. The Musketeers are springing leaks on defensive end, ranking ninth in Big East in allowing league foes average of 75 points per game.
7. Georgetown (13-9, 4-6, 62nd)
This week: Butler, Providence. Two upcoming home games gives Hoyas chance to build on momentum gained from upset of Michigan State and win over DePaul.
8. Marquette (13-10, 5-5, 86th)
This week: at Seton Hall. Buzz Williams continues to juggle lineups in search of back-to-back victories for the first time since mid-December.
9. Butler (12-10, 2-8, 95th)
This week: at Georgetown, Xavier. Sophomore Kellen Dunham continues to be one of Bulldogs' few bright spot as he ranks fourth in league in scoring.
10. DePaul (10-13, 2-8, 109th)
This week: at Creighton, Villanova. Freshman guard R.J. Curington has scored 47 points in past three games after scoring just 10 in Blue Demons' first 19 games.