As they prepare to face off with Xavier tonight in a huge game for their NCAA Tournament chances, the St. John's Red Storm remained absent from the top 25 polls altogether once again today.
The Red Storm split their games this past week against Georgetown and Seton Hall, first being blown out on the road against the Hoyas before pulling away from the Pirates over the weekend.
After tonight's crucial game against the Musketeers, their seniors will play the final home game of their careers against Georgetown on Saturday.
Poll Movements Across the Big East
After another undefeated week, the Villanova Wildcats have now won eight straight games to improve their overall record to a dominant 25-2, and they lead the Big East with a 12-2 conference record.
Currently projected as a two-seed in the NCAA Tournament by many, the Wildcats will likely have to run the table in the regular season and win the Big East Tournament if they hope to elevate themselves to a one-seed. This week they will face the newly-ranked Friars of Providence tomorrow night, followed by a trip to Xavier on Saturday.
The Butler Bulldogs dropped four spots in the AP Poll to number 23 overall today after they were blown out on the road against Xavier on Saturday. With a 19-8 overall record, the Bulldogs are tied for third place in the Big East with a 9-5 record in the conference.
There has to be concern around Butler heading into the season's stretch run as they play without Andrew Chrabascz for the next few weeks, after the sophomore forward had surgery for a broken bone in his hand today. Prior to the injury, Chrabascz had started every game for Butler this season and was averaging just over 11 points per game. Butler will face Marquette and DePaul this week as they try to rebound from a tough defeat over the weekend.
Also entering the top 25 as the final Big East team to be ranked this week are the Providence Friars, who snuck into the AP Poll at number 25. Despite winning their only game of the week against DePaul, the Friars missed out on the USA Today Coaches Poll by two spots, coming in at number 27.
With a 19-8 record, in third place in the conference, and with a top 25 RPI ranking, Providence currently sits in a very good spot to make their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance after a 10-year absence. They'll face Villanova tomorrow night before playing Marquette over the weekend.
Appearing like they will be among the 68-team NCAA Tournament field announced in just under three weeks are the Georgetown Hoyas. Georgetown barely missed out on both top 25 polls today, coming in at number 26 in each of them as they ride a three-game winning streak.
In second place in the conference at the moment, they'll have a week off before they face St. John's on Saturday, and they'll follow that up with another tough road game against Butler.
The Xavier Musketeers did not receive any top 25 votes today, however after they pulled off a huge upset win over Butler on Saturday they appear to be in a very good spot for an NCAA Tournament berth as well.
Sitting on the edge of the top half of the conference in fifth place with an 8-7 Big East record, the Musketeers will have a huge chance to essentially cement themselves into the tournament with a win over St. John's tonight. To close out the week they will face another tough road game against Villanova over the weekend.
It appears that the six teams listed above will be the only ones in the Big East to be in the NCAA Tournament conversation in the coming weeks, as the bottom half of the conference is really beginning to falter.
Seton Hall has now dropped six straight games as they look like a shell of the team that was ranked in the early stages of conference play, while DePaul, Creighton, and Marquette all appear like they will be headed towards losing seasons both overall and in the Big East.
Weekly Awards Recap
Almost like clockwork, Sir`Dominic Pointer was named to his fifth straight Big East Honor Roll today. Pointer led the Red Storm with 22 points and recorded his seventh double-double of the season on Saturday, and was second on the team with 16 points against Georgetown last week.
LaDontae Henton was named as Big East Player of the Week today as he remains the leading scorer in the Big East at this point. Henton scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the only game he played this week.
Isaac Copeland of Georgetown terrorized St. John's with 12 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks on Tuesday night, and he was named as the Big East Rookie of the Week today.
Rounding out the Honor Roll along with Sir`Dom will be Devin Brooks of Creighton, D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera of Georgetown, Darrun Hilliard of Villanova, and Myles Davis of Xavier.