Two weeks ago I made the remark that the Big East would never be harder to sort out than it was after one week of play. Naturally, this is the third consecutive week where ranking the teams 1-16 has been significantly more difficult than the week before.
The biggest question today is who's number two. Ranking one team ahead of another based on their head-to-head meeting is already futile because every team A has defeated a team B that has humiliated a team C that beat team A. Every spot between positions 2 and 13 can be vehemently argued, but the fact of the matter is that after three weeks of play we know even less than we knew at Christmas.
At least the tournament will be awesome.
1. Georgetown (1) (14-2, 4-1)
Last Week: Lost to Pittsburgh (69-60), beat Notre Dame (84-65)
This Week: vs. Syracuse (1/21), at West Virginia (1/26)
If you go out and lose to Syracuse tonight I just won't know what to do with myself.
2. Pittsburgh (3) (15-3, 3-2)
Last Week: Beat Georgetown (69-60), lost to Cincinnati (62-59)
This Week: At St. John's (1/23), vs. Rutgers (1/26)
Hoya-toppler Pitt gets the nod at No. 2 and is likely to remain here after a less-than-challenging pair of games this week.
3. Louisville (6) (13-5, 3-2)
Last Week: Beat Marquette (71-51), lost to Seton Hall (92-82)
This Week: At South Florida (1/23), vs. St. John's (1/26)
I know this reeks of homerism, but the Cards have been more impressive than the other contenders for the past two weeks.
4. West Virginia (7) (14-4, 4-2)
Last Week: Beat St. John's (73-64), beat South Florida (69-52)
This Week: vs. Marquette (1/23), vs. Georgetown (1/26)
The Mountaineers became one of three teams in the league to win more than one game last week by beating up on bottom feeders St. John's and South Florida (does everyone play these two teams consecutively?). If they can do the same thing to Marquette and Georgetown then they'll certainly find themselves higher on this list a week from now.
5. Connecticut (4) (12-5, 3-3)
Last Week: Lost to Providence (77-65), Beat Marquette (89-73)
This Week: At Cincinnati (1/23), at Indiana (1/26)
The Huskies seem to lose to Providence every year now, so don't read too much into it. A pair of road wins this week and Jim Calhoun's team will have played itself into the tournament for the time being.
6. Marquette (2) (13-4, 3-3)
Last Week: Lost to Louisville (71-51), lost to Connecticut (89-73)
This Week: vs. Depaul (1/26)
The talented guards/no frontcourt case study takes a very dark turn.
7. Villanova (8) (13-3, 3-2)
Last Week: Beat Depaul (76-69), beat Syracuse (81-71)
This Week: At Rutgers (1/23), vs. Notre Dame (1/26)
'Nova deserved better this week because I was actually impressed with what I saw from them against Syracuse on Saturday. Win two more this week and you will be rewarded handsomely.
8. Notre Dame (5) (13-4, 3-2)
Last Week: Beat Cincinnati (91-74), lost to Georgetown (84-65)
This Week: At Villanova (1/26)
You know it's never going to be exciting if the Irish are playing.
9. Cincinnati (9) (9-9, 4-2)
Last Week: Lost to Notre Dame (91-74), beat Pittsburgh (62-59)
This Week: vs. Connecticut (1/23), at Seton Hall (1/27)
If Mick Cronin guides this team to a single-digit seed in New York, then he should be a lock for Big East Coach of the Year.
10. Syracuse (10) (13-6, 3-3)
Last Week: Beat Rutgers (81-59), lost to Villanova (81-71)
This Week: At Georgetown (1/21), vs. Providence (1/27)
If they took bets on such matters, I would wager a hefty amount on the Orange playing in the opening game of the Big East Tournament.
11. Depaul (11) (8-9, 4-2)
Last Week: Lost to Villanova (76-69), beat Rutgers (75-73)
This Week: vs. Florida Gulf Coast (1/21), at Marquette (1/26)
Florida Gulf Coast on Jan. 21 eh? Big Monday indeed.
12. Providence (12) (12-5, 3-2)
Last Week: Beat Connecticut (77-65)
This Week: vs. Seton Hall (1/24), at Syracuse (1/27)
That's three straight double-digit wins, with two more very winnable games on this week's slate. Fear the Friars.
13. Seton Hall (13) (12-6, 2-3)
Last Week: Beat South Florida (74-64), beat Louisville (92-82)
This Week: At Providence (1/24), vs. Cincinnati (1/27)
If Jeremy Hazell goes cold for the rest of the season, I'm going to flip the f#$% out.
14. St. John's (15) (7-9, 1-4)
Last Week: Lost to West Virginia (73-64)
This Week: vs. Pittsburgh (1/23), at Louisville (1/26)
Like lambs to the slaughter.
15. South Florida (14) (10-9, 1-5)
Last Week: Lost to Seton Hall (74-64), lost to West Virginia (69-52)
This Week: vs. Louisville (1/23)
It's a dream, only a dream. And it's fading now. Fading away.
16. Rutgers (16) (8-11, 0-6)
Last Week: Lost to Syracuse (81-59), lost to Depaul (75-73)
This Week: vs. Villanova (1/23), at Pittsburgh (1/26)
League win numero uno will come Feb. 6 at home against St. John's.