Top-10 Ranking Does Not Guarantee BIG EAST Victories
Six BIG EAST teams have been ranked in the national top 10 over the course of the 2010-11 season, but that hardly means that those teams have enjoyed easy trips through the conference schedule. Three of the four BIG EAST squads ranked in this week’s top 10 have lost in the past three days. No. 2/2 Pittsburgh fell 56-51 to Notre Dame Monday, No. 9/10 Syracuse lost at home to Seton Hall 90-68 Tuesday, while No. 8/7 Villanova lost 83-68 at Providence Wednesday.
High Drama At High Noon Saturday
The BIG EAST has seven teams ranked in this week’s national polls, and four of them will be in action at noon Eastern Saturday. No. 23/19 Louisville visits No. 5/5 Connecticut for the BIG EAST Network Game of the Week, while No. 21/20 Georgetown is at No. 8/7 Villanova on ESPN. Connecticut, Louisville and Villanova are all tied for second in the BIG EAST standings at 5-2 in the circuit.
Making The Turn
Next Wednesday will mark the halfway point of the 144-game BIG EAST schedule, setting the stage for what figures to be a thrilling race for seeding in the BIG EAST Championship. Pittsburgh sits alone in first place at 7-1 in conference play, but nine teams are within three games of the Panthers entering tonight’s action. In fact, 10 of the 16 BIG EAST teams are at .500 or better in league play and 13 of the 16 have won at least half of their conference home games this season.
Put Providence’s Brooks Down For 20
Providence has scored back-to-back wins against top-25 opponents for the first time since December of 1998 after the Friars knocked off Louisville last Saturday and Villanova Wednesday night. One constant for the Friars has been the play of forward Marshon Brooks, who scored 27 points against the Cardinals and had 20 against the Wildcats. Brooks has hit for at least 20 points in 14 of his last 15 games and leads the BIG EAST in conference-game scoring at 24.0 points per game.