A huge win over conference-leading Providence on Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden was likely enough to negate a horrible St. John's loss on Wednesday night at Creighton, but it was not enough to impress any top 25 voters today, as for the second straight week the Red Storm received zero votes in both polls.
After the 1-1 week, the Red Storm are now 14-7 overall and still stand in 8th-place in the Big East with a 3-5 conference record. They'll face Butler tomorrow night for a shot at back-to-back resume-building wins, before getting a shot to avenge last week's loss on Saturday afternoon against Creighton.
Poll Movements Across the Big East
Although St. John's failed to receive any votes in the polls this week, the Big East continued to show its strength today, with three teams being ranked and three others receiving votes in both the AP and USA Today Coaches Polls.
The Villanova Wildcats come in at number seven in the nation in both polls today to once again top the Big East after they won their only game this week against DePaul. At 19-2 overall they are now tied for the Big East lead with Georgetown with a 6-2 conference record.
This week sees Villanova face Marquette for the first time this year on Wednesday night, and on Saturday afternoon they will get a rematch, at home this time, against Georgetown. The Hoyas smacked Villanova 78-58 in the Verizon Center on January 19th.
Also making their way into the AP poll for a second straight week are the Butler Bulldogs, who moved up three spots in the AP to number 22 in the nation, and entered the Coaches Poll at number 22 as well.The Bulldogs escaped on the road against a pesky Marquette team in overtime in what was their only game of the week, improving their record to 16-6 overall and 6-3 in the Big East.
Now winners of five of their last six conference games, Butler will look to sweep their season series with St. John's with a victory at home tomorrow night. They will also play host to DePaul on Saturday in what will be the middle game of a three game home stand.
And closing out the Big East's representation in the top 25 this weekend are the 15-6 Georgetown Hoyas. Georgetown feel three spots in the AP Poll down to number 24 today after splitting their games this week. The Hoyas began the week losing to Xavier on Tuesday, but they rebounded nicely and thumped Creighton on Saturday by 27 to improve their Big East record to 7-3.
Georgetown is currently tied with Villanova for the top spot in the Big East, and if they can take down second-place Providence on Wednesday, that could set up a showdown between the Hoyas and Wildcats on Saturday in Philly.
Three Big East teams received some votes in today's polls, with the Seton Hall Pirates leading the way in the AP Poll. Seton Hall, who dropped out of the rankings last week, made their way up to number 27 in the AP Poll after they received 22 votes.
After losing three straight conference games, the Pirates were able to right the ship with a close win against Marquette on Wednesday, and they followed that up with an impressive win at home against Xavier on Saturday. Now at 15-6 and 5-4 in the Big East, Seton Hall will look to avoid being swept by DePaul when they face the Blue Demons tomorrow night, and they'll face Marquette for the second time in 11 days on Saturday.
However, it would be the Providence Friars as the Big East team who received the most votes in the Coaches Poll, coming in at number 33 in the poll while receiving eight votes. The Friars had been rolling, winners of three straight and 10 of their last 12, but they were upset by St. John's on Saturday for their third Big East loss of the season.
With a 6-3 conference record and 16-6 overall record, Providence is in a very good spot to make their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance, but this week will not be easy for them as they face road tests against Georgetown on Wednesday and Xavier on Saturday.
And finally, Xavier made their way into the top 25 discussion today for the first time since November after the Musketeers received eight votes in the AP Poll.
Xavier has been up and down for what seems like the entire season with a 14-8 overall and 5-5 Big East record, and that continued this week, with the Musketeers pulling off an impressive victory at Georgetown before running out of gas late against Seton Hall. This week sees Xavier facing Creighton and Providence in two straight home games.
Joining St. John's as Big East teams to be rejected by the voters in each poll are DePaul, Marquette, and Creighton. DePaul has hit a bit of a rough patch in recent weeks, they've dropped three straight and five of seven to fall to 5-5 and in 7th-place in the conference.
Marquette has now lost five straight games, all within 10 points. In fact, at 2-7 the Golden Eagles have yet to lose a game in the Big East by more than 10 points.
And in the Big East cellar still is Creighton, who broke a nine game losing streak with a win against St. John's on Wednesday.
Weekly Awards Recap
Providence's Kris Dunn deservedly took home Big East Player of the Week today after he put up a triple-double on Thursday before leading the Friars on Saturday with 23 points.
Xavier's Trevon Bluiett was named Big East Rookie of the Week, while Sir`Dominic Pointer was named to his second straight Big East Honor Roll for St. John's. Pointer nearly averaged a double-double with 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game this past week, and he is joined on the Honor Roll by Butler's Andrew Chrabascz, Georgetown's D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Seton Hall's Sterling Gibbs, and Xavier's Myles Davis.