After losing a heartbreaker in overtime to DePaul yesterday and missing a perfect chance to gain some momentum heading into the heart of conference play, St. John's further distanced themselves from the top 25 rankings today, as they received just one single vote in both the AP and USA Today Coaches Polls.
The Red Storm were able to pull off an upset win on the road at Providence on Wednesday, but much of that was negated by yesterday's loss to DePaul, which now has them sitting at 12-5 overall and in ninth place in the Big East at 1-4.
Things will get no easier for the Johhnies this week when they first face Marquette on Wednesday before taking on the 5th-ranked Duke Blue Devils at the Garden in what may be Mike Krzyzewski's first shot at his 1,000th career win.
Poll Movements in the Big East
Leading the way for the Big East once again are the Villanova Wildcats, who won both of their games against Xavier and Penn in convincing fashion this past week. At 17-1 overall and leading the way in the conference with a 4-1 record, the Wildcats have climbed one more step up in the rankings, now up to number four in the nation with just Gonzaga and the two remaining unbeatens, Virginia and Kentucky, standing in front of them.
Villanova will go on the road tonight for a huge game against Georgetown, and they'll close out the week at home on Sunday against Creighton.
For the second straight week, Seton Hall remains the only other Big East team to appear in the rankings, dropping three spots in each poll to 24th overall. The Pirates fell in their only game this week at home against Butler, losing a tough 79-75 game in overtime that dropped them to 13-4 overall and 3-2 in the Big East.
Despite the loss, Seton Hall still remains in the top half of the conference, and they'll face the surprising DePaul Blue Demons on Thursday before playing Butler for the second time in three games on Sunday.
Along with St. John's, three other Big East teams received some recognition in each of the polls today, led by the Georgetown Hoyas, who came in at 29th in the AP Poll with 33 votes and 37th in the Coaches with 11 votes.
The 12-5 Hoyas piled up two stellar conference victories this week, first taking down DePaul on the road before a late 3-pointer by Isaac Copeland gave them a 61-59 win over Butler on Saturday. The Hoyas have a prime opportunity to enter the top 25 tonight when they face Villanova at home. They'll also play at Marquette on Saturday.
Providence and Butler were the other two teams to receive some votes in this week's polls, as the Friars came in at 32nd in the AP and 42nd in the Coaches, and the Bulldogs 37th in the AP and 39th in the Coaches. Providence saw their impressive comeback attempt fall short against St. John's on Wednesday, but they rebounded nicely and avoided an upset at Creighton on Saturday. The 14-5 Friars are now 4-2 in the Big East and sit in a log jam at the top of the conference.
The week started off well for the Butler Bulldogs when they went into Seton Hall and took down the Pirates on Tuesday, but they were unable to make it a perfect week on the road when they fell to Georgetown on Saturday. At 13-6 overall and 3-3 in the conference, they'll face Creighton and Seton Hall this week to begin a stretch of five of their next six at home.
Unable to crack the rankings this week were DePaul, Marquette, Xavier, and Creighton. However, despite just a 10-9 record overall, the Blue Demons continue to impress with their play in the conference.This week they gave Georgetown a run for their money and defeated St. John's in overtime.
At 4-2 in the Big East this will be an important week for DePaul when they face Seton Hall and Xavier on the road.
Speaking of Xavier, the Musketeers have continued to battle with mediocrity for most of this season, and that continued this week when they were beaten up by Villanova before they defeated Marquette.
At 12-6 overall and with a 3-3 conference record, the Musketeers likely will need to begin stringing a few wins together if they want to make the NCAA Tournament for a second straight year as members of the Big East.
And rounding out the conference are Marquette and Creighton, who join St. John's at the bottom of the Big East with just two combined conference wins so far (both by Marquette). The Golden Eagles have dropped all three of their road games so far in Big East play, while Creighton has yet to win a conference game and has dropped seven straight to put them under .500 at 9-10.
Weekly Awards Recap
D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera was named the Big East Player of the Week today after scoring 25 points at DePaul last Tuesday and then closing the week out with 14 points and a game-ending block to seal a Georgtown victory over Butler on Saturday.
Khadeen Carrington continued the Seton Hall domination of the Big East Rookie of the Week award after he scored a career-high 20 points in The Hall's loss against Butler on Tuesday. And closing out the awards, Phil Greene IV represented St. John's on the Big East Honor Roll after his impressive 20 point performance against Providence, and he was joined by Butler's Roosevelt Jones, DePaul's Billy Garrett Jr., Marquette's Matt Carlino, and Providence's Kris Dunn.