World-Herald staff writer Steven Pivovar ranks the Big East men’s basketball teams as published in The World-Herald on Feb. 5. RPI from NCAA.

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1. Villanova (19-3, 9-1, 2nd)

This week: at Providence, at DePaul.

Ranked seventh nationally in scoring defense, the Wildcats are 12-0 when limiting teams to 60 points or fewer.

2. Xavier (20-2, 8-2, 8th)

This week: Marquette, at Creighton.

Musketeers are the first Division I team to 20 wins this season, and they did it quicker than any club in program history.

3. Seton Hall (16-6, 6-4, 40th)

This week: Georgetown, Butler.

Three straight victories earn Pirates a ratings promotion over teams that appear to be stuck in neutral.

4. Providence (18-5, 6-4, 28th)

This week: Villanova, Butler.

Friars face double whammy in losing league-leading scorer Ben Bentil to ankle injury four days before league-leading Villanova comes to town.

5. Georgetown (13-10, 6-4, 75th)

This week: at Seton Hall, St. John’s.

Hoyas’ season could be slipping away as one-time poster boys for Big East defense are struggling to get stops.

6. Creighton (14-9, 5-5, 99th)

This week: DePaul, Xavier.

Inconsistent execution, uninspired effort and nagging injuries make perfect recipe for a slump in the middle of conference play.

7. Butler (15-7, 4-6, 61st)

This week: at St. John’s, at Seton Hall.

Bulldogs trying to keep it together after dealing with tragic deaths of former player and assistant coach’s infant son in last month.

8. Marquette (15-8, 4-6, 109th)

This week: at Xavier, Providence.

Henry Ellenson’s 32 points against Butler were the most by a Marquette freshman since Dwyane Wade got 35 in a 2002 game against DePaul.

9. DePaul (8-14, 2-8, 143rd)

This week: at Creighton, Villanova.

Getting 22 second-chance points on 18 offensive rebounds was a big factor in Blue Demons’ upset of Providence.

10. St. John’s (7-16, 0-10, 187th)

This week: Butler, at Georgetown.

Red Storm haven’t won since Dec. 13 and are saddled with a 13-game skid, tying Delaware for longest active losing streak in Division I.

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