March 7, 2014
Men's Basketball Update - 3.7.14
Villanova earned a 77-70 win at Xavier Thursday to win the BIG EAST regular-season title. Darrun Hilliard led the way offensively with 19 points. Justin Martin had 20 points and six rebounds for the Musketeers.
The win gave Villanova its first outright BIG EAST crown since 1981-82. The victory also gave the Wildcats the most regular-season wins in school history. They will be the top seed at next week’s BIG EAST Tournament Presented by NEW YORK LIFE.
In the other Thursday night contest, Butler got out of the gate at DePaul with a 13-2 start and won 79-46. Guard Alex Barlow led the Bulldogs with a career-high 19 points and helped end a seven-game losing streak.
Four games -- all on Saturday -- remain in the regular season. St. John’s at Marquette starts the day at noon ET. The winner will gain the No. 5 tournament seed.
If Georgetown can beat Villanova at the Wells Fargo Center, it can move up to the No. 6 seed if St. John’s loses to Marquette.
Butler can gain the No. 9 seed with a win over visiting Seton Hall. If Butler loses, it could still be No. 9, depending on a tiebreker that cannot be determined until the St. John’s-Marquette game is played. Seton Hall is set as the No. 8 seed.
Providence at Creighton is the final game of the day. If the Friars win, they will be the No. 3 seed, If they lose, they are fourth. Creighton is locked in at No. 2.
BIG EAST teams have played very competitive schedules this season and a return to the round-robin scheduling format with a 10-team league has accentuated that. In this week’s RPIRatings.com Report, every BIG EAST team has a strength of schedule rating in the top 100.