1. Louisville (2) (21-6, 12-3)
Last Week: Beat Syracuse (61-50), beat Pittsburgh (75-73)
This Week: vs. Notre Dame (2/28), vs. Villanova (3/2)
It feels good here. It feels right here.
2. Georgetown (4) (22-4, 12-3)
Last Week: Beat Providence (68-58), beat Cincinnati (73-53)
This Week: vs. St. John's (2/27), at Marquette (3/1)
A pair of wins this week and Roy Hibbert's Senior Day morphs into a league championship game.
3. Notre Dame (3) (21-5, 11-3)
Last Week: Beat Pittsburgh (82-70), beat Syracuse (94-87)
This Week: At Louisville (2/28), at Depaul (3/2)
A big road win on Thursday will not only keep the Irish's shot at a regular season title alive, but it will make a huge impression on the selection committee.
4. Connecticut (1) (21-6, 10-4)
Last Week: Beat Depaul (65-60), lost to Villanova (67-65)
This Week: At Rutgers (2/26), vs. West Virginia (3/1)
Uconn now has to hold serve and watch what happens above them.
5. Marquette (5) (20-6, 10-5)
Last Week: Beat St. John's (73-64), beat Rutgers (78-48)
This Week: At Villanova (2/25), vs. Georgetown (3/1)
What happens this week has the potential to move Marquette's NCAA Tournament seed as many as three lines.
6. Pittsburgh (6) (19-8, 7-7)
Last Week: Lost to Notre Dame (82-70), lost to Louisville (75-73)
This Week: vs. Cincinnati (2/27), at Syracuse (3/1)
I know they've lost three straight, but at Marquette, at Notre Dame and vs. Louisville aren't exactly ugly losses. If the Panthers don't sweep this week, however, they will drop accordingly.
7. West Virginia (7) (19-8, 8-6)
Last Week: Lost to Villanova (78-56), beat Providence (80-53)
This Week: At Depaul (2/27), at Connecticut (3/1)
An NCAA Tournament bid may very well come down - again - to the Mountaineers' ability to pull off consecutive wins in the Big East Tournament, something they came brutally close to doing a year ago.
8. Villanova (10) (17-9, 7-7)
Last Week: Beat West Virginia (78-56), beat Connecticut (67-65)
This Week: vs. Marquette (2/25), at Louisville (3/2)
Up from the dead, 'Nova is now a pair of upset wins away from having their own bubble. I begin to struggle with college basketball nomenclature about this time every year.
9. Cincinnati (9) (13-13, 8-6)
Last Week: Beat South Florida (52-51), lost to Georgetown (73-53)
This Week: At Pittsburgh (2/27), vs. Providence (3/2)
Four wins in four days, it could happen (/J.P.).
10. Syracuse (8) (17-11, 7-8)
Last Week: Lost to Louisville (61-50), lost to Notre Dame (94-87)
This Week: vs. Pittsburgh (3/1)
I said this two months ago and I'll say it again now: there is no way this team isn't playing in the 8/9 game at Noon on the first day of the BET. It's their moderately disappointing destiny.
11. Seton Hall (12) (16-11, 6-8)
Last Week: Lost to West Virginia (89-68), beat Depaul (73-71)
This Week: At South Florida (2/26), at St. John's (3/1)
This is where the drop-off begins. Teams 11-16 are all playing horrid basketball right now.
12. Depaul (11) (10-16, 5-9)
Last Week: Lost to Connecticut (65-60), lost to Seton Hall (73-71)
This Week: vs. West Virginia (2/27), vs. Notre Dame (3/2)
The Demons finish up with WVU, Notre Dame, Cincinnati and Pitt. Jerry Wainwright had better hope that St. John's and Providence both do their part and lose out too.
13. Providence (13) (13-14, 4-11)
Last Week: Lost to Providence (68-58), lost to West Virginia (80-53)
This Week: At Cincinnati (3/2)
The Friars own the tiebreaker with Depaul, so one win - assuming St. John's loses out - might be enough to get them to New York.
14. St. John's (14) (10-16, 4-10)
Last Week: Lost to Marquette (73-64), lost to Duke (86-56)
This Week: At Georgetown (2/27), vs. Seton Hall (3/1)
The Johnnies need to beat Seton Hall at home and then steal one from Georgetown, Notre Dame or West Virginia.
15. South Florida (15) (11-16, 2-12)
Last Week: Lost to Cincinnati (52-51)
This Week: vs. Seton Hall (2/26), at Rutgers (3/1)
I'm not into what the kids are calling "math" these days, but I'm pretty sure that one more loss will be the crowning blow to USF's once-promising dream of making it to New York for the first time. There's always next year...when all 16 teams get to go.
16. Rutgers (16) (10-18, 2-13)
Last Week: Lost to Notre Dame (71-68), lost to Marquette (78-48)
This Week: vs. Connecticut (2/26), vs. South Florida (3/1)
Rutgers won't lose a single contributor to graduation, so Fred Hill's squad ought to be much improved next season.