The Way I See It: The Big East's Power Rankings (Dec. 20)
This week we see some shakeups in the Big East Power Rankings, mostly due to poor performances by teams. Georgetown, Cincinnati, and Seton Hall all had losses this week, which affected their rankings. Syracuse is distancing itself from the rest and Providence remains in the basement as we go into another week of Big East Basketball.
1.) Syracuse (11-0)
The Orange look like the clear front runners at this point, with a perfect 11-0 record including wins over some tough competition. Their closest game so far was a 12-point victory over the Gators in Tampa. Meanwhile the No. 2 Mountaineers have had some much closer games including a scare at Cleveland State this week. Syracuse's talent, experience and commitment to defense will make them extremely difficult to beat.
2.) West Virginia (8-0)
The Mountaineers escaped this week with a two-point win over Cleveland State. They have a big challenge this week as they host Mississippi before going to Seton Hall for their conference opener.
3.) Villanova (10-1)
The Wildcats shook off their loss to Temple by beating Fordham 96-58. They get one last warm-up game against a 3-7 Delaware team before conference play starts on January 2.
4.) Connecticut (7-2)
They've lost twice, both times on the road and at two of the most difficult venues to play, at Duke and at Kentucky. In my mind, those losses aren't bad enough to make me drop them below Georgetown, who lost to Old Dominion this week or Seton Hall who lost at home to Temple. St. John's only loss was on the road at Duke, but at the end of the day, I'm much more skeptical about St. John's chances to compete in the Big East than I am with UConn.
5.) Georgetown (8-1)
The Hoyas lost to Old Dominion at home this weekend in a game where they just played flat. That had better change soon considering they play a Harvard team on Wednesday that gave UConn all it could handle a week ago.
6.) St. Johns (9-1)
Not much to report this week as the Red Storm beat Hofstra 72-60 and plays a 0-11 Bryant Bulldog team this week.
7.) Seton Hall (8-1)
The Pirates got a wake up call by playing a team with some talent; Temple dropped them 71-65 at home. They’ll try and get some momentum by beating a 4-7 Navy team before opening conference play up against West Virginia.
8.) Pittsburgh (9-2)
The Panthers are enjoying a soft spot in their schedule for the next two games against Ohio and DePaul. It turns into a nightmare after that with three games against Syracuse, Cincinnati, and Connecticut.
9.) Notre Dame (10-2)
The Irish had a solid win 84-73 over UCLA and host Bucknell (4-7) this week. They open up conference play by hosting Providence.
10.) South Florida (10-2)
The Bulls have already matched their win total last year. Conference play will not be kind to start as the Bulls play Louisville, Notre Dame, Syracuse, and West Virginia in their first four games.
11.) Cincinnati (7-3)
UAB beat the Bearcats like a drum 64-47 this week. Cincinnati’s last two non-conference games are against Lipscomb, who they beat 80-52, and Winthrop who’s 5-5. They host Connecticut for their first conference game.
12.) Louisville (7-3)
The Cards are off to a horrible start to the season, considering the expectations that weigh on the defending Big East champs. However, slow starts seem to be a trend for Louisville, including last year when they started 8-3 with losses to Western Kentucky, Minnesota and UNLV. They deserve to be ranked low right now, but it would be a mistake to write them off for the season so soon.
13.) Marquette (8-3)
They rebounded from the Wisconsin loss by beating North Florida 78-51 and host a bad Presbyterian team (2-10) this week. West Virginia will be a difficult test for their conference opener.
14.) Rutgers (8-2)
The Scarlet Knights actually have some talented players, including the former McDonald's All-American Mike Rosario. They're off to a decent start at 8-2, but haven't played a challenging schedule, with the exception of their loss to Florida. They lost to Vermont, and required overtime to put away Rider. The Knights are still at least a year away from even sniffing the top half of the conference.
15.) DePaul (7-4)
The Blue Demons slipped up against American this week, but rebounded 86-69 against Texas State. They have one more game against Florida Gulf coast before Pittsburgh comes calling for the conference opener.
16.) Providence (7-4)
Yale (4-6) is the last game before conference schedule. The sad thing is it’s the easiest game on the Friars remaining schedule; they open conference play up against Notre Dame.
Contributions to this article made by Dan Kelley
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