Big East Basketball Power Rankings 2-5-10

By: David Kay

1. Villanova: 9-0, 20-1 (LWR: 1)
Things get really serious this week for ‘Nova with two monster road games.  The Wildcats have only played one ranked team in their nine conference wins so far, but the final month pits them against five ranked teams, as well as a road game at Cincinnati and hosting a tough UConn team.  If they can finish strong, they are as much a Final Four contender as Kansas and Kentucky.

Up Next: at Georgetown (Sat), at West Virginia (Mon)

2. Syracuse: 9-1, 22-1 (LWR: 2)

Despite picking up a pair of victories, it was a rough week for the Orange.  They trailed by 18 in the first half at DePaul before rallying back.  Then, Wesley Johnson goes down in the Providence game with an fall very similar to the one that fractured two vertebrae in Ohio State’s Evan Turner’s spine.  Johnson is okay though and does not expect to miss anytime for ‘Cuse.

Up Next: at Cincinnati (Sun), vs. UConn (Wed)

3. West Virginia: 7-2, 18-3 (LWR: 3)
The Mountaineers score the first 13 points against Louisville only to escape with a bit of a controversial win after trailing by 11 with six minutes to play.  WVU then hands it to a struggling Pitt team for a fifth straight win.  Monday’s game against ‘Nova is going to be huge.  By the way, is there a fan base under more scrutiny than the Mountaineers’.  First, they got reprimanded by the university for chanting phrases with swear words that could be heard on national TV, then they get a technical foul for the team when a fan throws something on the court.  In the words of my sixth grade reading teacher, “Don’t be sorry.  Be mature.”

Up Next: at St. John’s (Sat), vs. Villanova (Mon), at Pitt (Fri)

4. Georgetown: 6-4, 16-5 (LWR: 4)
With the President and V.P. on hand, Georgetown represented the Big East by smacking around the Dookies.  How do the Hoyas respond?  By laying an egg at home in the second half of an eight-point loss to South Florida.  That has got to be frustrating for JT3.

Up Next: vs. Villanova (Sat), at Providence (Tues)

5. Pitt: 6-4, 16-6 (LWR: 5)
Two weeks ago, we were talking about Pitt as one of the surprise teams in college basketball, now they have dropped four of their last five.  Jamie Dixon’s teams have never been offensive juggernauts due to their ability to get after it on the defensive, but they are second-last in scoring in the Big East (behind DePaul) and haven’t scored more than 66 points in a game during their recent funk.

Up Next: vs. Seton Hall (Sat), vs. Robert Morris (Mon), vs. West Virginia (Fri)

6. Louisville: 5-4, 14-8 (LWR: 6)
After a pair of questionable calls in the final minutes of a loss at West Virginia, Rick Pitino said he has “had it” with officiating.  As I mentioned earlier, the West Virginia fan base came under scrutiny for the profanity they were yelling during this game, but points for creativity when they started chanting “Karen Sypher,” the name of the woman Pitino admitted having an affair with this off-season.

Up Next: vs. Rutgers (Sat), at St. John’s (Thur)

7. Marquette: 5-5, 14-8 (LWR: 10)

The Golden Eagles FINALLY had karma on their side late in a game as Jimmy Butler’s jumper with two seconds left lifted MU past UConn in Storrs.  For a team whose five losses in conference have come by a total of eleven points, that is a huge boost.  Now at .500 in the conference, Marquette has moved themselves into the thick of the NCAA Tournament conversations.

Up Next: at Providence (Sat)

8. Notre Dame: 5-5, 16-7 (LWR: 9)
If the Irish actually had a bench, they would probably be an NCAA Tournament lock.  Since they don’t, ND will continue to live on the bubble.  By the way, Luke Harangody is my least favorite college basketball player of all time.  P.S. Very rarely can lose to Rutgers and actually move up a spot, but that’s the middle of the pack Big East this year.

Up Next: vs. South Florida (Sun), at Seton Hall (Thur)

9. Cincinnati: 5-5, 14-8 (LWR: 8)
I would rather be eaten alive by the smoke monster on Lost than bet on this team.  That is how inconsistent the Bearcats have been in Big East play.

Up Next: vs. Syracuse (Sun)

10. South Florida: 5-5, 15-7 (LWR: 13)
The Bulls are on a roll behind junior shooting guard Dominique Jones who is averaging 35 points per game during USF’s four-game win streak.  Out of nowhere, this team has shockingly crept into talk of making the tourney.

Up Next: at Notre Dame (Sat)

11. UConn: 3-6, 13-9 (LWR: 7)
Jim Calhoun’s health cannot be getting any better as the Huskies are now three game under .500.  They will likely have to reverse their conference record the rest of the way to even have a shot at being a bubble team come Selection Sunday.

Up Next: vs. DePaul (Sat), at Syracuse (Wed)

12. Seton Hall: 3-6, 12-8 (LWR: 11)

The Pirates have proven that they can compete with any team in the conference.  However, they aren’t a good enough defensive team to beat the upper-echelon Big East squads.  It looks like the Hall is heading to the NIT.

Up Next: at Pitt (Sat), vs. Notre Dame (Thur)

13. Providence: 4-6, 12-10 (LWR: 12)
After Marquette on Saturday, the Friars have a run of Georgetown, Villanova, West Virginia, Syracuse.  BRUTAL!

Up Next: vs. Marquette (Sat), vs. Georgetown (Tues)

14. Rutgers: 2-8, 11-11 (LWR: 16)

Just when it looked like the Scarlet Knights were going to pull a DePaul from last year and go winless in conference, they win back-to-back game at home against Notre Dame and St. John’s.  Former McDonald’s All-American guard Mike Rosario scored 57 points in those games.  Get dude the ball!

Up Next: at Louisville (Sat), Caldwell College (Tues)

15. St. John’s: 2-7, 12-9 (LWR: 14)
Losing by 12 at Rutgers is embarrassing.  More embarrassing than trying out for American Idol, thinking you are a good singer, getting ripped apart by Simon Cowell, and then crying or throwing a tantrum.

Up Next: vs. West Virginia (Sat), vs. Louisville (Thurs)

16. DePaul: 1-9, 8-14 (LWR: 15)
The Blue Demons nearly pulled off the shocking upset of Syracuse before letting an 18-point lead slip away.  DePaul is averaging just 60 points per game, almost seven points below the next lowest scoring team.  They almost look like they have no idea what to do on the offensive end if Will Walker isn’t chucking up 25-foot three’s.

Up Next: at UConn (Sat)

NBA Draft Stock Report 2-2-10

By: David Kay

Every week The Sports Bank’s resident NBA Draft and college basketball nerd, David Kay takes a look at whose draft stock is on the rise and whose is falling.

Click here for David’s 2010 NBA Mock Draft.

Click here for David’s 2011 NBA Mock Draft.

Click here for a list of scouting reports.
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